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Video games

Teen boy laying on bed looking at internet on phone

Why Kids Need Us To Talk To Them About Extremism Online

“My son is on Discord,” a parent recently wrote in an email immediately following the racist killing spree in Buffalo, NY. “Should I be concerned?” I took a deep breath because I knew these conversations were complicated. In the wake of the racist killings in Buffalo, NY last week, each of us has been left…  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

Three kids looking at an iPad

To Gift Tech or Not To Gift Tech? That Is Not The Question

While unpacking some holiday decorations I found a wish list that  my kids had put together a few years ago. It was heartwarming and included items like “a live owl,” legos, books, and “surprises.” While the live owl request required some conversation about animal safety, overall the lists were short, sweet, and offline. What grounded…  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

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

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

A teen and technology listening to headphones while on her phone

6 Common Worries About Technology and Teens

What's the Reality?

Technology and teens. If you are anything like me, on any given day you vacillate wildly between, “Technology is amazing! What a time to be alive!” and, “Throw. It. Out. The. Window.” Such is parenting life in the digital age. News headlines exacerbate our ambivalence. Media reports convince us that social media is the key…  Read More

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

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

Little kids dressed like superheroes playing with tablet

Three Ways to Get the Most Out of Screen Time for Kids

“Broken!” Miles exclaimed. “It’s broken!” He said again in an increasingly frustrated voice. It took me a couple of minutes to catch up. My son was positioned directly in front of the TV, trying diligently to move a character on Daniel Tiger with his index finger. I soon realized what he was trying to do…  Read More