Families Managing Media (FMM) is a national nonprofit organization that offers a countercultural approach to eliminating childhood screen dependency.
In 2011, Melanie Hempe uncovered the dark world of video game addiction as she realized that her son’s gaming had finally crossed the line. She set out to help other struggling families and to her surprise had over 125 parents attend her first information meeting at a local school. From that meeting, FMM was born.
Turns out, like Melanie, families everywhere were not prepared for the tidal wave of technology flooding their homes, and children and teens were being lost in the world of video games and smartphones. Parents began looking for answers to the chaos and quickly discovered that our simple solutions were resulting in life-changing experiences at home.
Through our ScreenStrong™ initiative, FMM has delivered hundreds of seminars throughout the country, written for local and national print magazines, and been featured on national TV and radio outlets.
Studies show that excessive screen use can lead to significant mental, physical, and social issues for young people of all ages, so ScreenStrong provides proven ideas for healthier alternatives that rebuild relationships between the child, their family, and the real world.
What does it mean to be ScreenStrong?
Living ScreenStrong means your kids’ screen use is balanced. You hit the pause button on addictive screens—video games, social media, and smartphones—keeping the benefits of technology, but delaying the harm.
What does screen balance look like?
- Your child has a “take it or leave it” attitude about screens.
- Your child is not arguing about screen time.
- Your child chooses time with humans over more screen time.
- Your child is not lying about screen use and there is no secrecy.
- Your child is no longer stressed or anxious as a result of screen overuse.
- Your child does not resist getting off screens.
What are the ScreenStrong recommendations?
Minimize early exposure. Don’t let your children and teens develop an early dependency on their screens. Delay smartphones, video games, and social media through late adolescence.
Maximize relationships. Change the environment to reflect a people-centered—not screen-centered—lifestyle. Replace the virtual worlds with real relationships, real play, and real life experiences.
Board of Directors
Jonathan Daniell, Chairman
Advisory & Medical Advisory Boards
David & Jason Benham
Ronald L. Brown, M.D.
Hilarie Cash, M.D.
Andrew Doan, M.D., Ph.D.
Victoria Dunckley, M.D.
Richard Freed, M.D.
Lt. Col. David Grossman
Tom Kersting, M.A., LPC
Sonny Long, D.D.S., M.S.
Jennifer McCauley, M.D.
Cris Rowan, OT
John Rosemond, M.S.
Leonard Sax, M.D.
Raymond L. Swetenburg Jr., M.D.
Kenneth D. Weeks Jr., M.D.
Michelle Barrett, M.Ed.
Joe Clement & Matt Miles
Patricia Gefert, M.A.Ed.
Donna Hempe, M.Ed.
Cheryl L. Mahoney, M.Ed, LSW
John Stemberger, J.D.
Tessa Stuckey, M.A., LPC