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Category: Screentime

Parent acting as media mentor using technology together

Parenting in the Digital Age

Become the Media Mentor Your Child Needs

It has never been an easy job to be a parent of a young child.  But in our fast-paced and easily distracted digital age the use of handheld devices has become ubiquitous. Smartphone and tablets are often found in your hands, and we worry about how often screens can be found in the littles hands…  Read More

Young child scrolling through cell phone app that uses persuasive design to shape the user's behavior

Persuasive Design and Growing Brains: Why It Can Be So Hard to Unplug

“I am going to be screen free tonight!” I say to myself with conviction. I am already looking forward to a calm and focused evening. “Anything I need to see on my phone can wait until tomorrow,” I think with confidence. I place my phone on the counter and open the back door to greet…  Read More

A teen and technology listening to headphones while on her phone

6 Common Worries About Technology and Teens

What's the Reality?

Technology and teens. If you are anything like me, on any given day you vacillate wildly between, “Technology is amazing! What a time to be alive!” and, “Throw. It. Out. The. Window.” Such is parenting life in the digital age. News headlines exacerbate our ambivalence. Media reports convince us that social media is the key…  Read More

Teenager laying on bed looking at cell phone with parental controls on it.

10 Tips for Building Trust With Parental Controls

It doesn’t work well to install parental controls, close our eyes, cross our fingers, and hope for digital greatness. How we use parental controls has a huge impact on whether or not they are effective in helping our kids build digital skills and whether or not they build or erode trust.

Two children laying on rug playing video games together.

When Are Video Games Good for Kids?

“Yeeessss! There’s going to be another Fortnite Day!” I heard a child exclaim in the hallway of my kids’ school last month. Confused, I turned to a teacher for an explanation. He responded “I think they mean snow day…” The kids were eagerly anticipating yet another giant storm (yes, we live in Minnesota and yes,…  Read More

School librarian organized Camp Read Away at Seward Montessori in Minneapolis

Here’s Why You Should Thank Your School Librarian

The fire crackles and flickers onto the surrounding birch trees. Hanging lanterns transform the tents in front of me into glowing nests. Two signs point towards the nearest outhouses and children’s voices ring out through the air. As I describe this scene, you are likely picturing an adventure deep in the wilderness. But this past…  Read More

Looking up from your phone

Three Apps That Will Help You Put Your Phone Down

When it comes to digital devices, “proximity is destiny.” Of course in an ideal world we would all have the internal impulse control to make good choices about when to scroll and when to look up towards a family member or friend. Yet we know these internal skills are still developing in children’s growing brains…  Read More

Two teenage boys playing video games

Do You Recognize the Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction?

“I feel like he is addicted to video games!” This worry is becoming more and more common among parents. For most, it just means that their child loves technology and has a difficult time unplugging. For some, it means that their child is choosing technology over most everything else and is struggling to cope. What’s…  Read More