We recently conducted a small survey of people from our Screenagers email list. From the responses I have come up with 4 rules that I think households should strongly consider implementing.Read More
Have you ever heard the term “ghosting”? It happens to teens and adults alike and according to a Huffington Post poll, about 10 percent of Americans have "ghosted" someone to break up with them. Using avoidance as a coping skill is not new, but online communication has made that an easier way to deal with uncomfortable situations.Read More
My own two teens both have rich emotional lives—full of ups and downs (like most of us on this planet). From this I realized I wanted to talk more with them about how they and their friends communicate on social media and via text about their mental health. What do they find helpful and what is not helpful?Read More
Many people use the word “addiction” casually to describe something they do often and somewhat compulsively. Clinical addiction is a different, much more serious, matter.Read More
"Why not just say 'no'?" I've had this question from other parents and thought about this issue while I was making the film.Read More
With 2017 on the horizon, the last few days of 2016 are resolution season. Are you considering making some positive life changes? Great, me too. But how can we make the changes stick…for real this time?Read More
NBC's Today Show ran a piece this week where 10th grade students at a school in Tumwater, Washington watched Screenagers and then had the chance to do a one-week digital detox and be filmed for TV. Only some kids agreed to do it and the results were unexpected. Watch this with your kids! My kids thought it was really well done.Read More
When my daughter Tessa, who is in Screenagers, saw the completed film, I was shocked by one of her first reactions. She said, ”I didn't realize so many other kids are dealing with all this rule stuff like we are." Of course, she had been with me over the years as I was making the film, and yet somehow, she did not know how common it is for families to struggle with setting limits. She went on to tell me how rarely any of her friends talked about their rules around screen time.Read More
With Thanksgiving this week, it is a good time to think about the various practices of “unplugging."
To help find times to unplug, a good starting point is to think more about when our kids are not on screens during each day, rather than when they are on screens. From there it's easier to set guidelines around unplugging. I’ve heard about many creative approaches to unplugging:
I sometimes get questions from kids and parents about whether reading on a Kindle or another device counts as screen time. I am not concerned about reading on a device, what worries me is when you read on a device that has wifi and apps, it makes it hard to concentrate and stay on task.Read More
Candidates have used screens for good and for evil this election. They've used it to bully as well as to inspire. Talking to your kids about this issue is a great way to open up the conversation about how they define bullying. Talk your teens today about how they, and you, used social media, polling data and other ways to get engaged and informed about the election this year.
Tech Talk Tuesday #37
What's a Finsta?
Finstagrams are “private” Instagrams meant only for your closest friends. Many kids just refer to them as their private Instagram account. Here’s the definition from the Urban Dictionary:Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #36
Does your kid use multiple screens at the same time?
We, as a culture, are not only engaged in screens most of the day, but we are also often using multiple screens at the same time.Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #34
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a big concern for parents, but how do we define it and do our children see it differently? The definition of bullying from StopBullying.gov is:Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #31
How do you balance homework and screentime?
Screen time and homework can be a real problem. Our children often need screens to do their homework and then are automatically vulnerable to distraction when they need concentration the most. Famous research out of Stanford showed that when people multitask they feel as if they are doing better and better at the different tasks but actually they are doing worse and worse on all of them.Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #26
Do you post photos of yourself on vacation?
A recent survey found that 76 percent of travelers post their vacation photos to social networks. People have different feelings about this--for example, some people love to see people on vacation and others may feel envious.Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #13
How do your online relationships compare to your real-life ones?
Sometimes things happen in life that make you stop and take stock of who your “real” friends are. Like when I feel anxious and I call my friends to give me some moral support. If I need a hand with a ride somewhere for the kids, I call on my local parent crew. If I want to vent about the latest parenting issue, I might post on Facebook and get some reactions from my contacts around the world.Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #8
How to stay mindful?
This week I want to talk about mindfulness and bringing it to our technology use. In Screenagers, there's a scene where I consult with a mindfulness coach, David Levy, who specializes in mindful tech. I reached out to him after my daughter Tessa said to me, "I'm really distracted by my computer at night."Read More
Tech Talk Tuesday #7
How do you feel about violent video games?
When I was a kid I used to play Pong and Pac-Man. The world is very different now. For today's Tech Talk Tuesday share with your kids what you played. Ask them about their favorite games and what they like about those games. Then, ask them whether they know about any games that are focused on helping people. If so, what are they? If your child were to design a game, what would it look like? We'd love to hear their ideas.Read More