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Let’s Design Tech for Adolescent Development Not Dollars

“When do you think kids should have access to social media?” a parent recently asked during a workshop. Before she could help herself, another parent nearby responded quietly, “When they are twenty-five.” Another parent chimed in more confidently, “Never.” This sparked knowing laughter from the entire crowd. It turns out that both of these parents’…  Read More

Teenage girl sitting on couch looking at her phone.

Mental Health TikTok and Teens

Last week I was scrolling through TikTok after a friend sent me a video of a hedgehog taking a bath (a video experience I highly recommend). Just as I was working to pull away from the algorithm-induced vortex, another video caught my attention. A young man facing the camera was pointing to a list of…  Read More

White teenager laying on bed looking at their cell phone. Their face is illuminated by the glow of the phone.

New Report Reminds Us (Again) To Talk to Young People About Porn

“When did you start talking to your kids about online porn?” a friend recently asked me, wincing a bit at the prospect of embarking on the conversations herself someday.  My face likely mirrored a similar set of tortured emotions as I responded, “Much earlier than I would have liked to. But when you look at…  Read More

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2022

1. Why Forecasting Emotions Can Help Kids Handle Them When we hit a rocky spot, it is certainly tempting as parents to hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Thankfully, we are often right! Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep to increase our kids’ capacity to handle what comes their way.…  Read More

Two teens sitting on a bench looking at their phones together

When Phones Get in the Way of Connection (and When They Don’t)

“Hm hmmm?” I said, vaguely attending to my youngest child’s in-depth description of what features he would add to a Minecraft realm if given full coding control. My attention was split between his description (which could go on without end) and scrolling through a headline a friend had texted me.  Actually I hadn’t made a…  Read More

Frustrated child sitting at table with her head in her hands

Why Forecasting Emotions Can Help Kids Handle Them

“I try to have a positive attitude about it and give him a fresh start,” a parent recently shared with me. “But it seems like every day there is a blow up when it’s time to stop gaming. It’s miserable.”  “Ugh. That sounds so hard,” I responded picturing similar scenes playing out in my own…  Read More

Group of young teenagers sitting outside in a circle showing each other images on their phones

Teens and Screens: Why The Shift From Control to Connection is Key to Mental Health

We all have well rehearsed parenting phrases that emerge at different stages in our kids’ lives. Usually they pop into our heads or out of our mouths before we’ve even had time to think them through. You aren’t alone if the dominant phrase during middle and high school is, “PUT. THAT. [INSERT TECH DEVICE]. DOWN.”…  Read More

Girl on floor playing with cardboard

Kids Need Play: Offline and Online

“What are you making?” I asked my kids as I dropped  into their basement play area. I glanced quickly around and noted several cut up cardboard boxes, a couple of old Tic Tac containers, multiple rolls of duct tape, and the remains of various lego kits. They were clearly creating something that didn’t come with…  Read More

Line of teens sitting down looking at their phones

How Involved Should We Be In Kids’ Tech Lives? A New Study Sheds Some Light

“Just tell me how much screen time my kids should have!”  This is often the sentiment of parents I meet who are tired of conflicting advice about kids and technology. I get it. Our risk-assessment capacity is fried, news headlines give us constant whiplash, and we all could use some certainty right now.  That’s why…  Read More

Teen boy laying on bed looking at internet on phone

Why Kids Need Us To Talk To Them About Extremism Online

“My son is on Discord,” a parent recently wrote in an email immediately following the racist killing spree in Buffalo, NY. “Should I be concerned?” I took a deep breath because I knew these conversations were complicated. In the wake of the racist killings in Buffalo, NY last week, each of us has been left…  Read More