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Teenagers

Considering a First Device? Try This Framework

There are moments when I look at my phone and think, “What a time to be alive!” The device in my hand is one thousand times faster than the last generation’s supercomputers. Our lives benefit from this small device’s connection, information, and efficiency. There are other moments when I long to slow down all that…  Read More

When Kids Lie About Online Activities

Step One: Don't Panic

“I wasn’t surprised that my kid looked at inappropriate content online. I know it comes with the territory,” a parent recently confided. “What upset me more is that he lied about it.”  “This is always so tricky,” I sympathized. “We only see a little snapshot of what is going on. And it can be hard…  Read More

Beyond Likes and Shares: How to Build Real Self-Esteem

I can still remember the poster hanging in my fourth-grade classroom. Against the backdrop of a star-studded night sky, a comet blazed across the image accompanied by text that read, “You can be a star!”  As a child of the eighties, I grew up during the self-esteem movement. Posters, programs, and books consistently communicated, “‘If…  Read More

Two showing each other compassion and putting arms around each other sitting side by side

Growing Compassion: Raising Kids Who Respond With Care

“But who is going to help her?” Jacob asked. Jacob was a seven-year-old we had just met on the playground. He, along with several other kids including one of my own, had been playing the tag game “Sandman” on the play structure. Suddenly one of the kids tried to take a shortcut off the side…  Read More

Can We Hold These Three Truths about Tech and Teens at the Same Time?

Our Kids’ Mental Health Depends On It

Mark Zuckerberg turned toward a group of grieving parents this week and issued a public apology. “I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through,” he said. “No one should go through what you and your families have suffered.”  This latest admission at the Senate online child safety hearing was not the first time that Zuckerberg has…  Read More

kids looking at each other with curiosity

The Connective Power of Curiosity

Why Getting Curious Is Key to Our Personal and Collective Wellbeing

If you have ever spent any time with a preschooler, you know that their curious minds are always active. “Why is that bird sitting on that branch? What do birds think about? Can birds understand us? Where are the other birds? Why? Where? How come?” While charming, these endless questions can also get exasperating. At…  Read More

teen on their cell phone

New Report: A Week in the Life of Kids and Their Phones

When asked how much time this generation of kids spends on their phones, most of us would simply answer, “A lot.” Research backs this up. We have lots of data about average screen time and trends related to screen use. Yet rough measures of “screen time” only tell us part of the story. Learning more…  Read More

A group of teenagers seeking independence while out on a walk

Why Teens Respond Better to Collaboration Than Commands

“I need you to get going!” I told my middle schooler. This reminder came at the end of instructions about what-to-do-next in the unstructured day ahead. My pre-teen, more engaged in a podcast than my game plan, didn’t budge. I considered increasing volume, providing more information, or adding in some exasperated sighs for emphasis. Before…  Read More

Kids getting on school bus

Back to School Priorities

“How are you feeling about going back to school?” I asked my youngest over breakfast. “I’m excited!” he responded quickly. I was grateful for the enthusiasm but realized that there might be more to the story.  Sure enough, the same child was on the verge of emotional collapse five minutes later. He was beside himself…  Read More

teenager scrolling on their cell phone

Teens and Phones: How To Talk About Summer Scrolling

Set Boundaries AND Activate Awareness

“Here is what I know I don’t want,” a high school junior recently shared. “ A summer of scrolling. A little bit is fine – you know, to just relax and check out for a bit. But I don’t want to get lost there all summer.”  This young person’s reflection comes at just the right time for…  Read More