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Screenagers Blog Tech Talk Tuesdays

“Having calm, consistent conversations has greatly improved screen balance in my home and I have written hundreds of articles to help others through my weekly Tech Talk Tuesdays newsletter and blog.”— Delaney Ruston, MD Physician/Filmmaker"

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tech talk tuesdays
January 24, 2023
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Have Your Phone When You Open This

I bet there is one thing (at least) about your phone that you have been meaning to do, and yet you have not taken the time to do it. Yes? I just got another alert from the social media app, BeReal. I downloaded it with my kids a while back to learn about it. I don’t use it. Instead, I have been repeatedly irked whenever it pings me (it does that even with notifications turned off). I keep saying to myself, "Oh, yes, I have to delete that.” And then I never do. SO RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, I am inviting you to do one tiny thing (yep, right now) …

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tech talk tuesdays
January 17, 2023
Screen Time Rules

5 ways to respond when tech rules get broken

One of THE most challenging things as a parent is knowing how to respond when our kids break rules around screen time. Today I write about what to do when transgressions happen, consulting about the WISE before taking action and why consequences should be short..

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tech talk tuesdays
January 10, 2023
Screen Time Rules

New Year, New Tech Habits: 11 Tips for Setting Screen Time Rules with Your Kids

Having policies/ rules around tech is valuable and worth the work. But I am the last to claim that this is easy. You may know my personal story from Screenagers, where you saw me learning the hard way how critical it is that we find ways to involve our kids in defining screen-tome rules with us — vs. my initial, more top-down techniques. In today’s blog, I give 11 rules/policies to consider for the New Year. And I also include a couple of recent studies you may want to share with your kids.

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tech talk tuesdays
January 3, 2023
Screen Time Rules

How Can Unspoken Screen Rules Help in the New Year?

As the New Year begins, it's natural to think about resolutions and ways to improve our habits and routines. But instead of focusing on revamping screen time rules, I've been thinking about the moments when my family and I turned off, or turned over, our devices and were more present with each other. One of my resolutions was to share these memories with my family. My hope is that it will foster not only a feeling of gratitude but also create a "family piggy bank" of positive experiences to draw upon when tech troubles inevitably arise.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 26, 2022
Media Recommendations

My Family Podcast Recommendations

On a recent 3-day trip to Vancouver, BC, with my family, I compiled a list of podcasts that I wanted my kids to listen to and asked for their input as well. On a recent 3-day trip to Vancouver, BC, with my family, I compiled a list of podcasts that I wanted my kids to listen to and asked for their input as well. In today’s blog I give you several podcast episode recommendations from me and my family.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 20, 2022
Creativity

Do This One Thing For Immediate Closeness Over The Holidays

Plain and simple, there is one thing I recommend doing during the holidays for love and laughter. Bring out old photo albums and put them in a high-trafficked spot in your home — be it the kitchen table or a table in a living room. I predict we won’t have photo albums in the future, but we do right now.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 13, 2022
Homework & Schoolwork

New cheating breakthrough, can kids resist?

Is learning to write obsolete? How impactful will all the bias be? How can we trust who wrote what, including the issue of cheating? Today I’m writing about ChatGPT. This is HUGE. From the program itself, “ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like responses to text input.”

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tech talk tuesdays
December 6, 2022
Creativity

My Big List of Screen-Free Holiday Gifts

We all know tech gifts are a big part of the holiday season, but as always, I offer tech-free ideas today. I am not putting down tech — many wonderful tech gifts will get exchanged this year, but I hope you will find this tech-free list to be a bit helpful.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 29, 2022
Social and Interpersonal Development

Three steps to nurturing mentally stronger kids

One of the most important resiliency tools we all carry in our tool belts is the act of remembering past times we got through challenges. The problem is doing it during setbacks, and those times don’t readily come to mind. Today’s blog is about 3 ways to nurture this skill in our children.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 22, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Fostering Thanks This Week

This Thanksgiving week, I’m taking time with my family. Due to illnesses in the family, this is the first time since the pandemic began that we finally get to have an extended family gathering, and I’m taking the week to truly enjoy it. Here are four of my past Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday favorite Thanksgiving posts which are chock-full of ideas for fostering togetherness this week.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 15, 2022
Screen Time Rules

Find Out What Your Friends Are Doing About Screen Time

Hearing ideas from people in our circles can significantly impact us in many ways. For example, it might get us to try something new, and being able to follow up with the person who shared the idea can get us through challenging times. Parents often believe other parents are much more permissive around tech than they actually are. In today’s blog, I write about ways you can help instigate more sharing of screen-time parenting approaches with your friends.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 1, 2022
Away For The Day

When A School Reversed Its Cellphone Policy

Recently I received a wonderful email from Adam Slusher, vice principal at Pennsville Middle School in New Jersey, who did a thoughtful rollout of Away For The Day, using many of the free resources we’ve put together to help people through the process. What I think is great about the letter is that it maps out in great detail the rules they created as well as details on how they implemented Away For The Day.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 25, 2022
Media Literacy

How To Protect Kids From Overly Scary Films and Shows

Many young people and adults love horror films and talk about how they love the feeling of being scared. This is so very different from me. I am not at all a fan. This week I have been thinking about ways to talk with kids about when horror in movies, TV shows, and online, in general, go too far.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 18, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

When Teens Resist Extracurriculars, What To Do

I firmly believe that kids should have at least two activities that they are doing outside of school time. But what to do if the teen is not motivated to find something to do? In today’s blog, I write about what to do when our teens are resistant to getting involved in extracurriculars.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 11, 2022
Media Literacy

Teens Talk About HBO’s Euphoria

The Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog from two weeks ago provided four questions for teens to answer regarding the HBO show Euphoria. As intended, the questions sparked conversations among adults and teens, and we got many thoughtful answers from teens in the questionnaire.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 4, 2022
Mental Health

How to Help with Intrusive Thoughts

Today’s topic is about human mental health at the widest level: intrusive thoughts (also known as repeated negative thoughts, unhelpful chatter, and so forth). In my early thirties, I began having intrusive thoughts on a more regular basis. Today I share several ways I combat these intrusions.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 27, 2022
Media Literacy

Euphoria And My Unusual Request

I find HBO’s Euphoria incredibly disturbing and know that although so many of our kids have watched it, many parents never have. Today, I offer a way into a conversation with youth about the show’s topics and popularity.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 20, 2022
Challenging Conversations

Preparing For Sudden Tech Failures

If there was an emergency, what are some things you could do now to shore up your tech to help lessen the impact on your family and work? Read in this Tech Talk Tuesday about four key things I did and made sure my family knew.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 13, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

My top 3 back-to-school essentials

The start of this academic year gives us an opportunity to get clarity on our key reasons for wanting to work with our kids to ensure that they have time off screens. What would your three top reasons be? Today, I share mine AND I offer you this 60-second activity to get the conversation going.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 6, 2022
Mental Health

My unusual advice to one family with a teen in crisis

Today, I share a strategy (and a story) to help any youth or family who might be struggling emotionally. In this approach you gather a “brigade” of helpers to do what I call “ambushes of love.” Read the blog to see how it worked for one family.

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tech talk tuesdays
August 30, 2022
Media Literacy

Schools in Session and A.I. Wants Our Kids' Attention

School has started for some of your children and is right around the corner for others. Schools are, of course, full of tech, which also means they are full of A.I. All those little algorithms are taking their cues, making their moves, and, at times, helping students or hindering them with constructive and destructive capabilities. I’ll start with a personal example of when A.I. can be constructive.

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tech talk tuesdays
August 23, 2022
Away For The Day

Good news for cell phones in schools

It has been four years since my team and I launched The Away For The Day (AFTD) campaign to help people get sound cell phone policies into schools. The research remains clear that when phone use is limited at schools, students do better socially, academically, and emotionally. Given the enormous increases in screen time and social isolation over the past two years, as well as the jump in mental health problems, ensuring healthy phone policies is more important than ever. Today, I share some wonderful examples of how the AFTD Campaign has led to real changes in schools across the country.

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tech talk tuesdays
August 16, 2022
Challenging Conversations

It’s Everywhere Online, But Nobody is Talking About It

Raising topics around sexuality is, to varying degrees, uncomfortable. Yet, I believe our digital age makes having uncomfortable conversations paramount. It’s a gift to kids of all ages when we calmly and non-judgmentally raise topics related to sexuality and let them know we care and are here for them. Today, I offer four topics to raise with your child or older teen. Some will be appropriate for both age groups, and some will just make sense for those who are a bit older.

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tech talk tuesdays
August 9, 2022
Parenting Resources

Addressing Burnout in Parenting

When thinking about burnout, we generally connect it to work, feeling like the demands are too high and nothing we do makes a difference. We can also get burned out from the job of parenting. Today, I provide strategies to help combat parental burnout, drawing from the organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s ways to address burnout in the workplace by using these three components: demand, control, and support.

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