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Category: Screentime

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

Parent and child enjoying reducing screen time

Why Reducing Screen Time Isn’t Your Best Resolution

But Changing Digital Habits Might Be

The other day I found myself thinking, “What a time to be alive!” as I watched my oldest child make a series of online slideshows for some of his teachers. He couldn’t have been happier to be writing, creating hilarious art, and even adding poetry to his creations. Outside of school time! Just for fun!…  Read More

Teenage girl using new phone

New Digital Devices? Get Off To The Right Start With a Family Media Plan

There is no doubt that gaming systems, phones, and tablets are at the top of many children’s wish lists this year. While there are reasons to wait before getting your child their own device, how do we make sure that when the time comes that we set them up for success? Many parents greet new…  Read More

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.