The Screenagers Blog

The home of "Tech Talk Tuesdays"

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
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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tech talk tuesdays
August 2, 2022
Social and Interpersonal Development

How to help kids with social pressures

Should I be wearing this brand? Should I try those skateboard tricks I saw on YouTube? Should I try vaping? Throughout my kids’ school careers, I’ve always reminded them, “You are steeped in social pressures, and there is no way you can fully appreciate the weight of them until you get to the other side. Social pressures never completely disappear, but they lessen greatly after your schooling days.”

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tech talk tuesdays
July 26, 2022
Media Literacy

X-Rated Tor Gruesome

The intensity of gore and shockingly disturbing violence in popular shows and our kids are often freaked out by gore, but they become increasingly accustomed to it with age. For many teens, it can be quite appealing. So today, I’m interested in looking at where we are at this moment in time when it comes to violence in shows.

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tech talk tuesdays
July 19, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

A Fun Way To Tweak Summer Screen Time

We know free time can easily slip into screen time, particularly in the summer. Today I'm giving you some fun specific tool ideas to address this in a low-charged way with kids.

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tech talk tuesdays
July 12, 2022
Media Recommendations

My Summer Reading, Watching, Listening List

I thought I'd share a short list of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, exercising to and talking about with my kids, right now. You'll find most of the things on the list are related to parenting.

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tech talk tuesdays
July 5, 2022
Creativity

How I Love To Teach My Kids Appreciation

Today, I’m focusing on this awe-form of appreciation and how we can foster it in our kids. I believe one key way to do this is to get them to try new things. I notice my sense of awe is much greater for something I have tried myself.

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tech talk tuesdays
June 29, 2022
Reading

Super Summer Reading for Youth, by Youth

Today I’ve compiled recommended summer reading for youth, by youth. I had fun reaching out to several thoughtful teens to see what books they would recommend to their peers. They provided many interesting reads: some classics and others that are lesser-known.

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tech talk tuesdays
June 14, 2022
Reading

Rethinking Our Kids’ Summer Reading

It is important to examine our expectations, hopes, and dreams for our kids’ summer reading and today I share ideas to help create fewer disappointments and a broader view of what reading “success” looks like.

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tech talk tuesdays
June 7, 2022
Creativity

How Has Covid impacted youth screen time Part 2

Findings about Covid's impact on screen time and quiz questions, answers, and discussion questions to share with your kids, students, or you name it.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 31, 2022
Mental Health

My Number One Mental Wellness Move

Through exercise, the increase in heart rate gives me sustained relaxing effects and consistently lifts my mood. During difficult times, It helps me deal with my anxiety. My repetitive negative thoughts fade into the background during physical activity. Today I offer five tips that can help launch or increase physical fitness for you and/or your children.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 24, 2022
Mental Health

My Family Story of Mental Illness

Mental illness, in its most severe forms, can be devastating. I know because it has caused such hardship for my family. I grew up with two parents who both had severe mental illness. I had no siblings and almost no family nearby. Today I’m sharing a bit of my life story and offer questions you can use when talking with kids and students about the media's portrayal of severe mental illness.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 17, 2022
Mental Health

3 Step Road Map for Mental Health Hack When Tragedy Hits

In keeping with this month of Mental Health Awareness, I want to talk about one of the most effective resilience skills we can help impart to our kids: the act of taking pain and turning it into positive action. It is well established that doing actions to address tragedies or injustices can lift our feelings of wellbeing, hope, self-efficacy, and purpose.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 10, 2022
Depression

In a World of Happy Posts — Why Expressing True Emotions is So Important

In the spirit of Mental Health Month, it is paramount that all kids know that mental health issues affect us all. Our emotional lives are so complicated. The pressure youth feel to exude certain feelings can be intense. A significant portion of my book Parenting in the Screen Age is devoted to mental health issues and today I want to share one small section of the book.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 3, 2022
Mental Health

I Made Sure My Kids Knew These 3 Things About The Brain

Today I share three important brain health messages to get to our kids. Also, to share language you can use with them ongoing — whether it’s about their own mental health, others in the family, or peers and beyond.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 26, 2022
Mental Health

Now Is Our Time to Tackle Teen Mental Health Crisis

If there was ever a time to get our communities together, our parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents, and particularly our youth — to talk about ways we can help our young people with their mental health, it is now. There is no denying the measurable fact that since 2011, the rates of mental health problems — depression, suicide, and others, along with loneliness — have been going up.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 19, 2022
Anxiety

High Achieving Kids and Clinical Anxiety

So often, we talk about “pushy parents” — those putting too much pressure on their kids to straight As, take all AP classes, etc. The fact is there is an incredibly high percentage of kids who are primarily putting this pressure on themselves. All kids and teens experience anxiety at times. It is our bodies’ reaction to fear and stress — it is a part of being human.And then there is anxiety that has gone astray — clinical anxiety. This kind of anxiety is often missed or ignored in youth who are extremely preoccupied with their academic performance — an obsession with getting straight As and the like.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 12, 2022
Social and Interpersonal Development

Regret, Lessons For Our Kids

Regret is a topic I have long felt is under-discussed. The feeling of regret is very uncomfortable. Many people I talk to who have regrets only have a mild form. They may have things they would have done differently, but the thoughts in their head don’t come up several times a day. I, however, join hands in solidarity with us less fortunate folks who have brains that experience more repetitive bouts of regret. It is one of the strongest forms of anxiety I contend with. Today I write about ways to help our kids through regret.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 5, 2022
Video Games

Video Gaming, What Works For Some And Not Others

Today I’m sharing two polar opposites stories of people’s choices around video gaming — extremes can be great conversation starters. One is from a kid who decided, on his own, to stop all video gaming essentially, and the other is about teens attending a high school that is 100% focused on video gaming and the video gaming industry.

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