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Tween using tablet during pandemic screen time

Screen Time Has Gone Up (Again) – What Do Teens and Tweens Need Now?

“The data are out!” I said aloud while scrolling through the feeds on my laptop.  “What data?” my older son asked, briefly looking up from his school issued Chromebook.  “Dataaaa! Dataaaa!” my youngest sang enthusiastically, clearly not tracking the conversation but willing to be a part of it. He continued swiping through activities on his…  Read More

Child trying to focus their attention during distance learning

Attention and the Brain: Why It’s Hard to Filter Out Digital Distractions

During a short stint of online learning this winter I paused behind my oldest who was perched at the table with his Chromebook open.  As he haphazardly clicked around the screen, it didn’t take long for me to remember what a heavy lift it is for a growing brain to focus attention amidst a sea…  Read More

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

Teenager with headphones on looking at cell phone

What Will We Focus On Now? Screens, Teens, and Attention

“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

Teenage boy looking at phone and llistening to music with earbuds in his ears.

What Teens Need Us to Know About Social Media and Mental Health

“Any gratitude I had for screens is gone,” a friend shared this week, “I was thrilled in March…thank goodness for technology! Take the iPad and go forth! Now online meetings, gaming, and chats feel more and more empty, especially with everything going on the world. I just want my kid to unplug for a while.…  Read More

Screen time rules change during COVID-19 pandemic as child does distance learning alongside parent working

Do Screen Time Rules Matter in a Pandemic? Try This Approach

I knew we had reached peak screen saturation in my home as I watched my youngest son log onto a Zoom call and then, realizing he wanted his brother included, walked over and sat next to him on the couch. My eldest was on Facetime and they quickly realized they were live streaming a live…  Read More

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

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