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Category: Screentime

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

Teenager looking at glowing screen of ipad

Teens, Social Media and Mental Health

Depressing, Uplifting or Complicated?

“I know there is a lot to be excited about, but I can’t help but feel depressed about all the time that kids are spending online,” a father of a middle schooler said at a workshop recently. Another parent added, “Well, you aren’t alone. I am not sure that social media isn’t making my daughter…  Read More

Kids reading to avoid summer slide

Read to Slow the Summer Slide

After the graduation caps have been thrown in the air, school picnics held, and final report cards mailed, families greet the summer months with a similar question: what do we do with our kids? Many are eager for the unstructured time and play that summer provides. Others worry about how to fill the gaps in…  Read More

Child learning media literacy skills on his laptop

Media Literacy Matters

Children and youth today have the world at their fingertips. They can access libraries with the click of a button, download thousands of books on smart devices, and read newspapers from across the globe. While many young people may be physically separated by geography and/or socially separated by race or income, the Internet has been…  Read More