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Screentime

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 Beyond COVID

“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

Teen girl sitting on couch looking at her iPhone

Screen Time and Mental Health – What We’ve Learned From a Year Online

A parent recently shared, “I know these times are still hard but I think my teenager’s mood is way beyond languishing. I’m really worried about her. And ALL THIS TIME on her phone doesn’t seem to help anymore. We just aren’t on the other side of this yet are we?”  This parent isn’t alone in…  Read More

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