Technology titans are issuing startling warnings about the dangers of social media and excess screen time for kids. Many parents are asking what they should do about screen time and their kids. Our simple, shorthand answer: “Parent like a tech exec.” You see, technology executives aren’t just raising the alarm about the dangers of screens and devices; they’re instituting new practices in their own families to guard against those dangers and equip their kids to thrive in this brave new tech world.
When it comes to educational technology, we are all being lied to. Educational policy-makers, teachers, students, and parents have been made to believe that modern technology is “transforming the way students learn,” and “revolutionizing education.” Schools issue tablets and laptops instead of textbooks. Students spend much of their school day and night tied to screens for schoolwork and homework. The ed-tech companies have successfully crafted, packaged and sold to schools many myths masquerading as facts. These are spun in such a way that we are made to feel bad for questioning them. However, once parents and decision makers see the truth, they will demand change.
Building strong digital citizens does not begin with a smartphone contract. After trying this incredibly popular tool, many parents have discovered that the family smartphone contract is not worth the paper it is printed on, nor the high hopes and emotional energy invested in it. In fact, it can do more harm than you realize. Learn why and what you should do instead by reading our latest Wait Until 8th Blog.
Learn what smartphones don't teach by getting a glimpse of a girl without one. If you liked Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take, you don’t want to miss this eye-opening read.
One teacher compares the life a middle schooler in 2008 versus 2018. There is a startling difference. Learn what life looks like for middle schoolers today, and gain valuable tips on how to reclaim childhood for your kids in this digital age.
Once kids receive their first phones, it’s common for parents to be anxious and concerned for the things their children may get into online. From cyberbullying to online predators, countless ways exist for children to run into potentially dangerous situations. But how do you monitor what kids are actually saying online and expressing to their friends? And what’s more — how do you do it in a way that helps build trust with your child and encourage open, honest communication?
Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 12’s new Screen Time, is the feature parents have been waiting for. With it, we have a new tool to help prevent excessive screen time for our youth, as well as ourselves. The tool lets us limit overall time and allow you to limit the time on specific apps. Learn how to use Screen Time in your home.
The types of mistakes kids are making on their smartphones have become increasingly criminalized, and the consequences at school and under the law can be very serious. As our communities continue to be rocked by story after story of mass school shootings and kids committing suicide after being ruthlessly cyberbullied, the stakes are extremely high. Those in authority simply can’t afford to take any chances. Everything must be treated seriously, just in case. Learn what you can do as a parent to protect your child from legal trouble and teach them how to use smartphones responsibly.
Many parents ask when is the right age to give a child their first social media account. That is actually the wrong question. We think there are other, more important questions that should be asked first. We have a list of six questions that we’ve found to be helpful in making an accurate assessment.
Reality: Most Kids Eventually See Porn – No Matter How Hard You Try to Prevent It. In the digital age, it’s not a matter of IF my child will see pornography. It’s only a matter of WHEN. Learn how to talk confidently to your child about pornography .
In the era of the smartphone and tablet, boredom is facing an extinction-level moment. And that’s not a good thing, especially for our children. Learn three ways to make boredom great again.
New research is questioning the wisdom of allowing phones in school, as studies reveal this practice is putting students’ learning and safety at risk. Learn why phones don't belong in school.
Do you need to get in touch with your child? Consider a basic flip phone instead of a smartphone. A basic phone avoids many of the distractions and potential dangers that come with a smartphone. Our flip phone guide for parents highlights several basic phones to consider.
Giving a smartphone to a child is a big decision. Be sure to make sure your child is ready for this responsibility by checking this list of questions. Once your child has a smartphone, continue to educate them on the importance of using the smartphone safely, appropriately and moderately.
When should I give my child a smartphone? It’s a good question. And a hard one to answer because there are so many considerations. Learn why parents must tackle the sex talk and other hard subjects before their children are ready for a smartphone.
A science teacher asked her students to finish this sentence: ‘What my parents don’t know about social media is…’ The answers were SICKENING. Heartbreaking. Depressing. Out of the 85 kids who answered, around 70 of them admitted to keeping some kind of social media secret from their parents.
My daughter is ten. She wants me to download the Musical.ly app on my phone so she can make funny lip-sync videos. Everyone has it, she whines, even the kid whose mom is an FBI agent/social worker/pediatrician/nun.
Wow. Well. In that case…
I download the app while she’s at school but it won’t let me explore without an account. I create a profile under Chardonaynay47, only to delete that and opt for something less momish — gummibear9.
One word sums up my experience: Nowayismykidgettingthisapp.
If you’re worried about getting your child a phone or if you are regretting the fact that you have already have—you are not alone. In fact, I’m worried about it too. And the more I read about smartphones and kids, the more concerned I get. This is an important topic that I wanted to address before my 10-year-old daughter’s peers got phones. It turns out I may have waited too long. The average age for a first smart phone is now 10 years old. My daughter has affirmed this finding telling me point blank, “Mom, most of the kids in my class already have phones.”
Learn how one family recently raised a teen without a smartphone. You will learn why they chose to delay this technology for their daughter and the many benefits to waiting. The Mom answers some tough questions too including:
- Did I worry that she wouldn’t understand our decision or be mad at us?
- Does she feel that she has been left out?
- Was I concerned she was not going to be prepared for the digital world?
- Does she regret not having a smartphone or social media?
- Did she “binge” and “go crazy” when she finally got her smartphone?
- Will she be behind when it comes to technology use for a future job?
- Do we regret our decision to delay my daughter’s smartphone?
What if you already have permitted smartphones for your children? Or what if your children are older, and you don’t think they are ready for a fully loaded smartphone? Consider turning the smartphone into a basic phone with these easy steps.