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Parenting Blog

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

Tween at desk looking at laptop

Teens on Social Media: Is There a Case to Delay?

“I am just going to delay as long as I can,” a parent recently shared with me. She added, “I just don’t even want to deal with social media until high school.”  “Yes, I can relate,” I replied thinking of my own middle schooler at home and my intermittent impulses to move deep into the…  Read More

Teens on social media on their phones

New Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence

What are the latest recommendations from the American Psychological Association?

To say that there is a lot of attention right now on teenage social media use is an understatement. Yet all of the attention hasn’t necessarily produced a clear and coherent path for parents. Instead, we continue to experience significant whiplash between headlines that say, “Screen time is fine!” on one hand, and, “Screen time…  Read More

Mom and teenager laughing and connecting

Identity in Adolescence

When Teens Push Us Away, Let's Get Creative With Connection

“I know that I want to raise an independent kid who eventually goes off into the world,” a parent recently shared. “But I just don’t like this in between part.”  “What part?” I asked.  “Oh just the part where they wrench themselves away from the family and treat me like an unwanted roommate,” they replied…  Read More

Teens walking to school and roaming the neighborhood independently.

Play Without Pressure and Room to Roam: Why Independent Activities Are Key to Wellbeing

In the past two years every major organization dedicated to adolescent health and development has sounded the alarm on mental health. The latest CDC data describes the crisis in detail. In 2021, more than four in ten students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third experienced poor mental health.  In the wake of this…  Read More

Child laying on stomach playing video games with a headset on

Five Ways to Ease Screen Time Transitions

“There is nothing to do,” my youngest kid wailed again. In case we hadn’t heard he increased his volume when he repeated the word nothing. Then he scanned our home as if it were a barren wasteland.  I glanced at him and within seconds could pick out any number of enjoyable activities he could try…  Read More

A white and Black tween girl laying on their stomachs on a bed looking into a cell phone taking a selfie

Body Image and Social Media

“It’s so clear that so much of it is fake. I mean I know that. But it’s like, when I am scrolling, I still don’t know that,” a teenager recently told me after a workshop at her school this past fall. She was eager to follow up on our conversation about the curated nature of…  Read More