The Screenagers Blog

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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
July 26, 2022
Media Literacy

X-Rated For 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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March 29, 2022
Screen Time Rules

How has Covid Impacted Youth Screen Time? Part 1

Everyone is trying to grasp where we currently are with screen time and kids and where we will be when the COVID crisis is more fully behind us. Today I highlight some of the key findings in a new report and what we can glean from the data to help in conversations with young people.

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March 22, 2022
Anxiety

Helping Kids Combat Social Unease

I have developed a technique I call “Check My Landing,” where I follow up on a conversation with someone when I wonder if my words got misinterpreted. Learn about how to help our youth use this to improve communication.

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March 15, 2022
Creativity

Must-Know Brain Science of Boredom

When I give workshops to students, they get wide-eyed when I tell them, “Our brains are designed for challenge,” and then go on to explain how this relates to boredom, video games, and social media. Boredom is not a mild ho-hum type feeling — it is a very unpleasant sensation, particularly if you are a young person. It’s the brain’s way of saying that it wants something to ponder.

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March 8, 2022
Social Media

Helping Youth Navigate War Videos On TikTok

In today’s blog, I write about things we can do right now to help our kids and teens navigate the deluge of war content on social media. There are many fake TikTok videos about the war in Ukraine. Investigators found that some of these videos use sound taken from video games.

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March 1, 2022
Anxiety

Unpacking Anxiety Around School

Today I am focusing on anxiety driving school refusal and tips on how to help. School refusal includes going to school late, missing individual classes, and missing entire school days.

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February 15, 2022
Challenging Conversations

Can We Control Who Is Attracted To Us?

Our youth have complex social worlds, online and off, particularly now in the ongoing age of COVID, and they are vulnerable to the fact that they can’t control who is attracted to them, nor who they are attracted to. In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I’m writing about how to help our kids with the universal human challenge of knowing when to accept what we can’t change in our social lives versus what we can try and change.

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February 8, 2022
Healthy Romantic Partnerships

Resources that have helped my marriage

In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I am sharing some tools that have helped my marriage over the years. I’ve purposely timed this post to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Taking the time to work on one’s long-term relationship — to get help, to be vulnerable, and to compromise — is an act of love.

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February 1, 2022
Screen Time Rules

Inside One Family's Phone Rules Conversation

Recently two friends of mine — a married couple — told me that they were just about to get their 13-year-old son his first smartphone. They explained that they told him that they would get him one once he reached 8th grade and did well academically during the first part of the school year. They explained to their son, I’ll call him Charlie, that they needed to set up expectations and ground rules around the phone, and they wanted him to write down the reasons he wanted a phone and why he felt he needed a phone. Also, they asked him to write some possible rules and ideas about good digital citizenship. They recorded the conversation and today I share some of it with you.

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January 25, 2022
Video Games

What's New And Noteworthy In The World Of Video Games

Today I offer some intriguing stories related to video gaming, and I am confident you will want to discuss with others — even beyond just kids because data reveals that more and more people over 50 do some sort of video gaming. Do you know what Cozy games are?

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January 18, 2022
Media Literacy

How To Resist The Vortex Of Click Bait

We are focusing on adults today. Teens have told me they get frustrated that so much focus is directed at them around being hooked to screens. They know issues around persuasive tech affect all of us. Our kid’s frustration often manifests as defensiveness and shuts down production discussions. So, to show them that this is truly affecting all of us, I am passing on examples adults have recently shared with me about the tech temptations they struggle with and ways they try to resist. The hope, as always, is you will share these with your kids and teens.

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January 11, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Robbers Entered And Stole My Teen's Phone, And Better Ways To Manage Phone Time

I heard the floorboards creak and thought it was my husband and daughter getting ready to go to the mountains for the day. I heard the front door shut loudly and figured they had left. I fell back asleep. Sometime later, I heard the floor creaking again. I yelled out, “Peter, Peter, are you still here?!” He replied, “Yeah, we haven’t left yet.” Read my blog to find out what happened, AND tips for better ways to manage cellphone time

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January 4, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Time To Clean The Screen

For the next four weeks, I will be offering four ideas that can help tackle screen time in the New Year. This week’s approach is around the idea of “ time to clean the screen.” This should involve everyone in the home and pertains particularly to phones and laptops, but other devices like Chromebooks and iPads are perfect for this as well.

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December 28, 2021
Media Recommendations

2021’s Most Popular Blogs Posts and Podcast Episodes

This is my 304th blog since I began writing my Tech Talk Tuesday in 2016. Of the 51 posts in 2021, today, I share the 14 most popular of the year. I also share the 5 most popular episodes of the Screenagers Podcast.

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December 21, 2021
Video Games

One Girl's Experience With Online Gaming And Strangers

Today I talk with an 11-year-old girl about what she likes about the popular gaming platforms Roblox and Minecraft, as well as some of the uncomfortable experiences she's encountered with strangers while playing video games … and what she's done in such situations.

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December 14, 2021
Video Games

When Two Parents Got Rid Of Their Xbox

Two parents decided to reverse course two years ago and let their two teen boys know that their Xbox was getting put away, indefinitely. Why did they do this, and how did it go...

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December 7, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Modeling Our Responses To Tragedies And Injustices

Today I give ideas to spark conversations about how we, as influential adults in kids' lives, have responded to injustices and tragedies throughout our lives (tiny and big) to strengthen young people’s mindsets that there are always things that can be done. Specifically, I focus on advocacy, volunteering, and donating.

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November 30, 2021
Creativity

2021's Mostly Non-tech Gift Guide

While compiling the list of non-tech gifts for this holiday season, I so enjoyed the distraction from the complexities and uncertainties of COVID. This is my 6th annual Screenagers' gift list and brings 25 unique, creative present ideas for all ages.

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November 23, 2021
Creativity

Options To Communicate With Your Kids Without A Smartphone

With the holidays coming, you might be thinking about buying your kid a phone. In today's blog, I include some reviews of non-smartphones and some experiences and recommendations from other parents.

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November 16, 2021
Creativity

5 Ways To Make Dinnertime More Fun

There is a long-standing belief that dinner needs to be about checking in with everyone about their day mainly, and then, from there, people can bring up other topics. There is also a myth that this should be satisfying enough for everyone at the table.The truth is some kids and teens get a bit frustrated or bored by dinnertime. Today I propose ways to add some spice to your regular dinner routine by sharing some fun dinner activities.

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November 9, 2021
Social Media

What Is Facebook & Instagram Not Telling Us About “Likes”?

Today I’m writing about what the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the Facebook Files tells us about what Facebook and Instagram know about “Likes” and what they are not telling us, and solutions on how we can help our youth with “Likes.”

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November 2, 2021
Parenting Resources

Books and Podcasts List To Help With Parenting

Time for some book and podcast recommendations — Thanksgiving and winter breaks are coming up, and you might have more time to read. I am sharing some suggestions of books and podcasts I have liked — a few of which are just for parents and others are for tweens and teens.

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October 26, 2021
Video Games

Discord, Twitch, And Mental health, What To Know

Today I explore what Discord and Twitch are, some of the risks of the platforms, some ways to mitigate risks, and some ideas for helping your youth make healthy, good decisions when using these.

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October 19, 2021
School Environments

Why Are Your Kids Required To Be On Social Media

“I am a parent of two teenage daughters (16 and 14), both in high school. I am frustrated with how the schools encourage social media usage by using it for communication. The softball team communicates through Twitter. Clubs communicate through Instagram. The band uses Snapchat. How do we best encourage (request/demand) the schools to use non-social media platforms for activities, sports, and clubs?... Any advice?”

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October 12, 2021
Social Media

The Talk To Have About Instagram At Home Right Now

In 2016 FB (and Instagram) asked me to come to their headquarters and show Screenagers to their adolescent division. I spoke about negative emotions that were happening to young people related to social media and my concerns about excessive use and addiction. Around that same time, Facebook was talking about developing a Facebook-type product for youth younger than 13. Fortunately, there was pushback from the public, and this never came to fruition. Our voices matter. We want to support our kids having a voice in this discussion. This week's Tech Talk Tuesday, gives you ideas about talking with your kids about the leaked papers that revealed that Facebook has been internally talking about how youth can have very negative emotions on social media but find it hard to pull away.

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October 5, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Discussing The Facebook Whistleblower With Our Kids

So much is happening this week with Facebook/Instagram. The Facebook/Instagram whistleblower is testifying at this moment before the Senate. Yesterday Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp all went down for hours for the first time ever. In a 60 Minutes interview from Sunday, the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, talks about why she decided to go public with internal company documents. This is an incredible learning moment for our kids and there are great timely, relevant ways to engage them in all these topics (that affect them!) which I discuss in this week’s TTT

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September 28, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Responding To The “Facebook Files,” Let’s Act Now!

Let’s mobilize and ramp up our concerted efforts to put limits on tech’s reach into our homes. I have always said, “Our tech revolution warrants a parenting revolution.” Part of the revolution requires that we step out of our comfort zone to speak up.

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September 21, 2021
Depression

3 Questions To Ask Your Kids About Suicide Prevention

Many schools around the country are doing a 180-degree shift regarding suicide prevention education — and this is good! It was practically unheard of just five years ago. That said, it is not yet everywhere, and that is why reading this blog and talking with your children is so important.

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September 14, 2021
Video Games

Should 3 Hours A Week of Gaming Be The law?

China has just launched new video gaming restrictions for kids under 18: Kids cannot play video games (on computers or phones) during the week, limiting their video gaming from 8 pm to 9 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and on public holidays, totaling no more than 3 hours per week. Are the rules enforced?

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September 7, 2021
Away For The Day

The time for less phones in schools is now

The science is clear: Having phones used less during the school day increases connections and decreases distractions. Students do better socially and emotionally, as shown by research. Now more than ever, it’s time to look at our Away For The Day Campaign, which is full of tools to help bring change to your elementary, middle, or high school.

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August 31, 2021
School Environments

"Skill Them Up" — School Restarting

I have been thinking a lot about going back to school, and recently, I listened to the behavioral scientist BJ Fogg uses the term “skill them up” when talking about how to help someone activate and reach a goal in their life. Today I share three key skills that can benefit our kids and students greatly.

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August 24, 2021
Anxiety

Is Anxiety Driving Your Parenting?

Parenting is inherently anxiety-provoking. But feeling anxious at times is different than letting anxiety control the way we parent. Today I share some true stories that demonstrate this and offer ideas on how we can prevent anxiety from taking hold of our own wheels.

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August 17, 2021
Pornography

PORN, Teach About It Or Not?

Today’s TTT is about whether including the topic of porn in sex education should happen or not is a keen way of instigating dialogue with tweens and teens about porn. And remember, smartphones are unfortunately an easy portal into porn, so nudging ourselves to talk more frequently about porn is so important — these are not easy conversations to have.

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August 10, 2021
Healthy Romantic Partnerships

Let's Tell Our Kids About The Work Of Marriage

Today I share how my husband and I got to a better place with our communication conflict and why we shared the details with our kids. Life is not about riding horses off into the sunset but rather riding elephants into plain view.

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August 3, 2021
Social Media

The Confusing Mixed Messages Of Their Online Influencers

In today’s Tech Talk Tuesday, I explore how to open a conversation with your kids and teens about what to do with the steady stream of YouTube videos with influencers giving them so many mixed messages.

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July 27, 2021
Screen Time Rules

Two Moms, Two Experiments In Less Screen Time

A few weeks ago a dear friend shared with me about her screen-free family Sundays with her 3 kids. When Jamie started Screen-Free Sundays, they planned to just try it out for a month so she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the experiment. I also talk with a mom in Alaska who prioritized reading in her family in all sorts of ways — and keeping screens at bay when they read. Hear how the experiments have gone.

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July 20, 2021
Media Literacy

How To Limit Your Family’s News Intake For Better Emotional Health

Recently, I spoke with someone who has decided to really cut down on their social media use and news feeds because they saw how it was impacting their mental state. I have written in the past and podcasted about how we help our kids recognize disinformation, but today I’m discussing managing the quantity of “bad news.”

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July 13, 2021
Healthy Romantic Partnerships

Parents In Conflict Over Screen Time

Today I share strategies to help parents in conflict over screen time limits. I know, generally, it is important to have a united front for our kids about things like rules, but what about the benefits of bringing some conflict out into the open at times?

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July 6, 2021
Media Recommendations

Top 10 Tech Talk Tuesdays This Year

Given that we are halfway through 2021, I thought it was a good time to share the top read Tech Talk Tuesdays in 2021 thus far. Whether it is to catch up on any you’ve missed or reread something you found helpful before, this list of the top picks is a good way to go.

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June 29, 2021
Challenging Conversations

We’re Talking Hot Love

I love that during summer, there’s a relief from the complexities of school-based social stressors, and it can be a good time to bring up some of the more awkward conversations of parenting. So let's take this relative downtime of summer to bring up the topic of what makes for loving, kind intimate relationships. And yes, this may well get into sexuality. Today I give you tips on how to address this.

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June 22, 2021
Creativity

Tech Revolution Quiz To Do With Your Kids

Last week I mentioned in the blog that youth often enjoy doing self-assessment questionnaires. Well, today it is about the fact that they — and, us, as well, appreciate a fun, competitive quiz. I have developed The Digital Age Quiz, tested it with youth, and it has been a hit. The key is to make it a competition. This quiz is great for everyone in your family, or group of any kind, even a summer camp group!

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June 15, 2021
Creativity

12 Summer-Fun Ideas For The Whole Family

“Pre-commitment” is the term that comes to mind as I sit down to share some summer-fun ideas. In behavioral psychology, pre-commitment is all about doing an action, such as creating a contract with yourself before doing something, to increase the chance you actually do that something. Read on for some ideas to boost summer fun.

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June 10, 2021
Screenagers Events

Why Now Is The Time To Show Screenagers Next Chapter At Your School

Screenagers: Next Chapter explores openly, the topic of mental health in youth today and meets many real-world young people and families, openly discussing their stories, challenges and identifying solutions applicable to all. Learn more about why now is the right time to screen this movie at your school.

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June 10, 2021
Screenagers Events

Screenagers Events - The Benefits Seen By Host Communities

From the wide range of feedback we have received over the years, we have learned more and more about the real-world benefits hosts and viewers have gained from our movies. Presented here, for those thinking about hosting a screening in their community is feedback on the most widely reported benefits we have seen.

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June 10, 2021
Screenagers Events

Hosting A Successful Screenagers Event

We made the Screenagers movies to be shown in group community settings such as schools, places of worship, workplaces and more. Let us share with you the steps to putting on your own successful Screenagers event, along with some of our most helpful tips!

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June 7, 2021
Creativity

Tech Shabbat With Tiffany Shlain And Her Daughter

As the world starts to open up more, and household members are newly pulled in different directions, I thought it was the perfect time to consider how families can create routines to feel connected. In today's TTT, I share with you a weekly break from tech that one family calls Tech Shabbat.

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June 1, 2021
Parenting Resources

Social Engineering Versus Helicoptering

Many children are languishing when it comes to having in-person social activities. Yes, there is more in-person school, but many youth feel lonely, unseen, and unsure of things. This can be so tricky for us parents — especially when our kids are teens. The last thing we want to do is helicopter parenting, but there is a role for our social engineering at times.

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May 26, 2021
Mental Health

“Boggled By Emotions”—A game for every age!

It is the last week of Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to recommend a fun game I invented to do with your family that has been given a big thumbs up by youth. It is called “Boggled by Emotions.” It takes two minutes, and sure way to get smiles in your home or classroom.

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May 18, 2021
Parenting Resources

This One Tiny Change Will Really Help Your Kids

Can you commit to making one small change around a screen time habit for a specific amount of time and to discuss your plans with kids in your life. Today, I explore reasons why this helps our kids and offer plenty of examples of small changes to consider.

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May 11, 2021
Parenting Resources

When We Judge Moms About Their Children's Mental Health...

Every one of us parents has experienced episodes of pain because of our child’s pain. Our pain becomes exponentially worse when our kids face things such as serious mood challenges, drug challenges, etc. Add to that parents often feel judged by others for what is happening with their child. Moms have traditionally been the brunt of judgment. Today I share a story about what happened with me and three sisters and one of their daughters who has battled anxiety and depression.

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May 4, 2021
Cyberbullying

Truths And Myths About Cyberbullying

Today I speak with a psychologist and researcher who has been working for decades to understand and prevent bullying. The word cyberbullying gets used A LOT by young people, and sometimes it's misused. Today I explore how to talk with our kids about cyberbullying and ways we can support them in our schools.

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April 27, 2021
Anxiety

Anxiety And School

These are tough times for lots of kids and teens, and high on the list is anxiety concerning school. These feelings may be from social anxiety that existed before but accelerated during Covid or perhaps anxiety around possible virus transmission.Today, I write about creating a “Toolbox” of healthy coping strategies for anxious feelings and feature 2 incredible psychologist's ideas.

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April 20, 2021
Mental Health

My kid won't socialize, won't exercise, won't...

Pre, during, or post COVID, it’s equally challenging for us when our kids and teens resist what we know will help them. How do external rewards fit into all of this? Don’t rewards just crush internal motivation? And while we might “win” in the short term, aren’t we messing them up in the long run? And how does some clever social engineering as a parent fit into all this?

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April 13, 2021
Mental Health

What Isolation Has Done, How In-Person School Can Help

I am concerned about our youth, and science substantiates my worries as studies are reporting very high rates of mental health challenges. I’m calling on everyone to band together to find solutions. I have lots of ideas I explore with you today.

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April 6, 2021
Screen Time Rules

Spring Reset. 4 Steps To Setting New Screen Limits

Spring cleaning time is here, and a spring reset is a good time to look at and make changes in your screen-time balance. I am not talking about some gigantic reset, just one or two small tweaks. Today I give 4 easy steps.

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March 29, 2021
Media Recommendations

Podcasts And Books I Recommend Right Now

Feelings of compassion have been intensely visceral for me this year. It has made me reflect on books and podcasts that have influenced me in the far past and the near-present. Today I share a few that inspire compassion and insight that you can listen to or with your kids, or they can read or listen alone.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 22, 2021
Social Media

Failure To Close The Loop, Or Ghosted?

Online interactions can be the only clues to understand an interpersonal dynamic. Is someone not responding because they are busy? Or are they “Ghosting” you? Today I’m writing about “closing the loop” and other digital etiquettes.

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March 16, 2021
School Environments

What Do You Appreciate About School Communication?

A big shift has happened, a reset is remerging, and how we communicate as schools and families is critical. What types of committees will we make? How should such emails even be changed?

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March 8, 2021
School Environments

School Worries? Ideas To Help

I have been thinking a lot about ways we can supplement our children’s learning this spring. Today I have ideas for 3 “Home Mini-Courses.”

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March 2, 2021
Mental Health

The Emotional Landmines Our Kids Live In

Teen years are full of emotional landmines. For example, our kids might be a click away from seeing a post that feels like a huge slight and then spiral into intensely painful emotions that can last for weeks. Today I talk about how parents can help them through.

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February 22, 2021
Pornography

Porn, When And How To Talk About It

Not surprisingly, reports on porn use have shown an upswing of use during COVID. Today I have tips on how to have those necessary and challenging conversations about this with our kids and teens.

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February 16, 2021
Video Games

Recovered Gaming Addict Shares Insights

As a teenager, Cam Adair‘s video gaming habit took over his life. After several years and the help of counselors and family, he was able to quit. He’s now devoted his life to helping others quit and/or reduce their video gaming. Today he shares helpful insights for kids, teens, and parents.

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February 9, 2021
Online Harassment

Pressure For Pics In The Pandemic

The ways girls (and boys) are getting asked for sexually provocative photos and videos and how to help with a conversation — especially during Covid.

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February 2, 2021
Parenting Resources

My Kid Is Not Motivated, Now What?

Are your kids experiencing a lack of motivation? Is it depression? Today I have strategies to help when you're challenged by your kids or teens’ lack of motivation — even if they are highly motivated, I have ways to help all young people.

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January 26, 2021
Video Games

Why We Care About Violence In Video Games And Shows

Learn about findings on the effects on our youth of violence in video games and shows, what are the upsides and downsides of being desensitized to violence and aggression, and learn about hostile attribution bias.”

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January 19, 2021
Screen Time Reduction Skills

A Peek Into My Tech Habits

A new year is always a good time to look at our habits and consider goals. Some readers have asked me about my tech habits, and I realize that I have not shared them much. So today, I thought I would write some of my practices and goals for the new year.

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January 11, 2021
Parenting Resources

Hope — Is It Teachable?

Through research, we’ve also learned that hope can is a skill that can be acquired — hope is a combination of positive feelings and inspired action. Today I write about more how you (parents, caregivers, counselors, educators, etc.) can teach hope.

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January 5, 2021
Mental Health

This Is Serious — We Must Talk Mental Health

It is a REALLY hard time for our youth. This TTT is about ways to connect with our kids to give them pearls of insight to support their emotional wellbeing. A bonus is that such conversations help our kids be more equipped to help others, such as friends who are struggling, now or in the future.

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December 28, 2020
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Most Talked About Tech Talk Tuesdays of 2020

I am jazzed today to share with you the top 10 blog posts of this past year. People found an array of topics extremely helpful, from gaming, to screen time during Covid, to podcast recommendations, to information about social media, and of course so much more.

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December 21, 2020
Social Media

The Rabbit Hole of Social Media Just Got Deeper

I predict that based on the huge success of TikTok, the new similar features on Snapchat and Instagram are going to become very popular. Today I talked to some teens about these new services.

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December 15, 2020
Video Games

Addressing Toxic Video Gaming Environments

Video gaming has understandably gone up hugely during Covid distancing. Kids and teens have fun playing with friends—which is great—yet, there are risks and challenges. Today’s TTT addresses the mean and hurtful communication happening in gaming spaces.

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December 8, 2020
Media Recommendations

12 Documentaries To Watch With Your Family

Today I have picked some docs that are sure to expand your youth’s knowledge of the environment, society, politics, and most of all, human nature and the human condition. Also, I include discussion questions for some of the films.

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November 30, 2020
Creativity

2020 Non-Tech Holiday Gift Ideas

I have 22 tech-free gift ideas that will inspire, entertain, stretch, and delight the whole family for this holiday season.

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November 24, 2020
Challenging Conversations

Teaching our kids the trickiness of thanks

I find that people rarely talk about how nervous and self-conscious we humans can feel when we thank someone for something they did or said. And yet, so often, these uncomfortable expressions of gratitude are the truly meaningful ones.

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November 17, 2020
Screen Time Reduction Skills

Launching “Chapter Clubs” for Screen Solutions

I’ve been thrilled to hear that people are starting book clubs around my new book, Parenting in the Screen Age. To support these clubs, we are launching free “Chapter Clubs,” where each month I, and other experts, will guide a conversation around one of the ten chapters from my new book.

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November 10, 2020
Video Games

Video Gaming “Among Us” Advice

The newest game on the block is Among Us. Are your kids playing? Playing too much? Today I write about approaches to managing emotions around video game use during the pandemic.

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November 2, 2020
Mental Health

Let Love Lead

The human condition is one in which some degree of pain, suffering, and loss are inevitable. What has helped me with this fact is anchoring onto a mantra that popped into my mind some years ago, which is "let love lead."

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October 27, 2020
Homework & Schoolwork

School Online, Multitasking, and More

Staying on task and paying attention in a classroom online when pulled by many tabs and often phones nearby is intensely challenging. Today I share some solutions that kids have shared when it comes to studying online.

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October 20, 2020
Social Media

“Texting Preferred Over In-Person Time”...REALLY???

I have been asking kids and teens the following, “If you had a totally free Saturday, what would you choose — being at home communicating with friends over social media, or being with your friends in-person?” Every single time I get the same response: “being with my friends in-person.” Learn their surprising responses.

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October 13, 2020
Mental Health

Friendships During COVID

Many young people are feeling disconnected from friends and at the same time, others have been able to maintain a sense of closeness to friends. And, we, parents, are concerned about our kids in these incredibly challenging social times. Today I give tips for talking with your kids about appreciating any goodness happening in their friendships — and how the tech revolution has been helpful.

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October 5, 2020
Parenting Resources

My Book Launch of Parenting in the Screen Age

Today I am sharing an excerpt from the introduction of my new book, Parenting in the Screen Age, and a peek at the Table of Contents too. This book is all about how we, as parents, can feel as empowered as possible to help our kids maintain healthy screen time — whether during summer vacation, a busy school year or stuck quarantined through a pandemic.

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September 29, 2020
Media Literacy

How To Think Like A Fact-Checker

Helping our kids find reliable information in the vast swamp of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracies, and propaganda on the internet and social media right now is crucial. To help our kids better understand what they are seeing and not passing on anything suspect, I give you a peek into the 3 questions fact-checkers start with when trying to validate a story.

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September 22, 2020
Mental Health

Every Child 10 And Up Needs To Know

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and it is important to think and talk about this difficult subject with our kids this month. Today I share ideas about having such a conversation along with a link to a section of Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER that is dear to my heart and really touches those adults and youth who see it.

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September 15, 2020
Mental Health

Nerves On Edge In Your Home?

Today I am sharing some ideas for parents to help decrease tension in the home. Focusing on what we can do — rather than what others are doing that annoys us is key. Bringing down our own stress level works wonders to lower stress in the entire home.

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September 8, 2020
School Environments

Rethinking PE – Back To School

As kids do school from home, how many will have ways to be physically active? And, if you are a parent that has a kid or teen that you have tried everything to get them to move and nothing works, I get you. I don’t have a magic bullet, but I do have some ideas today that may be helpful.

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