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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

Tween using tablet during pandemic screen time

Screen Time Has Gone Up (Again) – What Do Teens and Tweens Need Now?

“The data are out!” I said aloud while scrolling through the feeds on my laptop.  “What data?” my older son asked, briefly looking up from his school issued Chromebook.  “Dataaaa! Dataaaa!” my youngest sang enthusiastically, clearly not tracking the conversation but willing to be a part of it. He continued swiping through activities on his…  Read More

Child trying to focus their attention during distance learning

Attention and the Brain: Why It’s Hard to Filter Out Digital Distractions

During a short stint of online learning this winter I paused behind my oldest who was perched at the table with his Chromebook open.  As he haphazardly clicked around the screen, it didn’t take long for me to remember what a heavy lift it is for a growing brain to focus attention amidst a sea…  Read More

Parent looking at iPad with child

5 Ways to Build Emotional Skills for Social Media

(Long Before Kids Have Their Own Accounts)

“Thank goodness I have a five-year-old, I don’t have to deal with TikTok yet!” a parent recently shared. “Agreed!” chimed in another.  A third parent, however, observed, “Yeah… but who knows what social media platforms will be the rage when our kids get to high school…the metaverse?” The group quieted, clearly sobered by the prospect. …  Read More

Kids walking on a path taking new habits one step at a time

Start With the Family You Want to Be

“Seems like we should just take 2022 one day at a time,” my son remarked when we gathered to do some New Year’s family rituals.  My first thought was, “Wow, a ten year old committed to staying in the present? What a master of mindfulness!” I quickly realized as I looked at his face that…  Read More

Three kids looking at an iPad

To Gift Tech or Not To Gift Tech? That Is Not The Question

While unpacking some holiday decorations I found a wish list that  my kids had put together a few years ago. It was heartwarming and included items like “a live owl,” legos, books, and “surprises.” While the live owl request required some conversation about animal safety, overall the lists were short, sweet, and offline. What grounded…  Read More

Parenting After the Facebook Files

Last week, I wrote a post on Instagram, teens, and body image after the Wall Street Journal released the “Facebook Files” online. Since then whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of a Senate subcommittee focused on protecting kids online. Her testimony provided a powerful and courageous glimpse into the business decisions and practices at Facebook,…  Read More

Teenager looking down at their cell phone

Still Complicated: Instagram, Teens, and Body Image

A parent recently shared, “I literally cannot imagine living without our phones right now with everything going on.” In the next breath she admitted, “but I’d also like to throw all of our phones out the window.”  As the pandemic wears on we clearly continue to live in a state of psychological flux with our…  Read More

Three pre-teens sitting outside looking at camera. One teen is wearing a green shirt and the other a white hoodie.

Listen to Youth Voices in Uncertain Times

Why Participation is Essential and Protective

“My middle schooler has a few tiny things on his mind lately… you know, like the Delta variant and the climate crisis,” a parent recently shared. She went on, “Honestly, things are pretty existential in our house right now…and I just feel so powerless to help. How can I even reassure him when his worries…  Read More

Teenager with headphones on looking at cell phone

What Will We Focus On Now? Screens, Teens, and Attention

“My kid has been tethered to their device for over a year….I cannot wait for summer to just unplug and reboot,” a parent recently shared. “I am with you!” I responded. “Seems like we could all use some time recovering from Zoom/GoogleMeet/Teams fatigue.” It’s not that pre-COVID teens (or adults) had a lot of digital balance.…  Read More