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Screentime

Image of iPad that says "This year I'm proud of" and "This year I want to work on"

Pandemic Screen Time Habits: What Next?

During a virtual presentation a parent recently asked, “We’ve gotten into some really bad screen time habits during the pandemic. How do we make sure they don’t stick when this thing is over?” I smiled to myself because at that very moment my own kids were holed up in our unfinished basement with iPads while…  Read More

Two children in winter clothes running across a field with a parent following behind them.

Helping Kids Cope With COVID – Keep Them Moving

A parent shared with me that her youngest recently told her in no uncertain terms, “I can’t go outside! I’ve got too much on my mind!”  “I think he is planning on  spending the rest of the pandemic in his room with his tablet thinking through the collapse of the world,” she lamented. “No surprise…  Read More

Screen Time in a Pandemic: Focus on Mental Health Not Arbitrary Rules

I had just finished a long and detailed discussion with my kids about the benefits of building with cobblestone versus sand blocks in Minecraft. Then I asked, “How much of the day do you think about Minecraft?” “Oh A LOT,” my oldest replied. “But I think when there is more to do, I will have more…  Read More

Teenager with a mask holding a sign that says "we repeat what we don't repair"

How to Help Children and Youth Process the Capitol Insurrection

Since yesterday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol many parents have reached out to us for advice on how to talk with and support their kids in the aftermath. As children and young people alike process the live feeds, memes, and coverage of the attack on the halls of Congress everyone will need extra space…  Read More

Ribbon on a typewriter with the words "stories matter" above

Parenting for Media Literacy: Storytelling and Power Matter

I used to teach a course on digital media, storytelling, and social change to college students in Minneapolis. One of our first field experiences every semester was to the artist studio of Minneapolis-based visual artist Ricardo Levins Morales. My students tended to be emerging filmmakers and media makers so many were surprised (and sometimes annoyed)…  Read More

Teenager looking at camera and behind him is a computer screen with fake news

Talking to Kids About Fake News

“Nothing on the internet is real anyway,” my youngest announced emphatically to his older brother. “You don’t know what you are talking about,” my oldest retorted as he searched for evidence that some ducks do indeed sleep with only one eye open. He was clearly ready to launch into an evidence-based defense of his beloved…  Read More

Teenage boy looking at phone and llistening to music with earbuds in his ears.

What Teens Need Us to Know About Social Media and Mental Health

“Any gratitude I had for screens is gone,” a friend shared this week, “I was thrilled in March…thank goodness for technology! Take the iPad and go forth! Now online meetings, gaming, and chats feel more and more empty, especially with everything going on the world. I just want my kid to unplug for a while.…  Read More

Screen time rules change during COVID-19 pandemic as child does distance learning alongside parent working

Do Screen Time Rules Matter in a Pandemic? Try This Approach

I knew we had reached peak screen saturation in my home as I watched my youngest son log onto a Zoom call and then, realizing he wanted his brother included, walked over and sat next to him on the couch. My eldest was on Facetime and they quickly realized they were live streaming a live…  Read More

Teenager checking their cell phone

Informed or overwhelmed? The brain on COVID-19 news

This week marked the first official week of learning at home in the wake of school closures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our family started social distancing efforts last week so I had a little time to mentally prepare for the new reality of juggling working, parenting, and teaching. I knew better than…  Read More

Teen reading on digital tablet lying on bed

Dive, Surf, or Skim? Reading Comprehension in the Digital Age

Parents and researchers alike have a long history of hand wringing about literacy, reading comprehension, and children, especially as they get older. The migration of reading to digital media has only compounded these fears. Parents frequently comment, “I feel like I haven’t seen my child pick up a real book for fun in years!” while…  Read More