Category Archives: tech

Camp connections

Real time updates on new platforms mean parents have more ways to hover over their camper.

Both day and overnight programs have upped the number of quick updates that go home.

Photos and videos of campers and their activities sent home throughout the day are easy to forward to long distance friends and relatives, too.

Disrupted Dinner

Research consistently supports the importance of family mealtime. Benefits include healthier eating and children who learn vocabulary, have fewer behavior problems and lower substance abuse.

But dinnertime disruptions – in the form of sports and/or tech – continue to impact this important time of day.

If kids are active in sports, attendance is mandatory at games and practices. There aren’t a lot of options.

But there are real choices when it comes to tech. Do your kids a favor: turn off the TV and leave the phone in another room. Researchers have documented that even the mere presence of a phone diminishes the quality of conversation.

Devices remain an unwelcome dinner guest.

Cutting the cord

Although parents usually think about cutting the cord when planning for childbirth, more moms and dads are “cutting the cord” by dropping pay-TV.

This is high season for pulling the cord as moving vans pull up to homes at the end of the school year.

More kids are growing up watching shows on phones and tablets. Another sign of the times: an increasing number of families use online video services for Family Movie Nights.

Online protection in summer

Digital tech has added a complex layer to parenting this summer, when kids are home and devices are so available.

Parents will use a whole list of effective strategies to protect their kids from online dangers once school vacation begins:

router with strict filters
computer in “public” location at home
use of no cost controls that come with software
family rules, for example, everyone plugs into the same power strip before supper or at night
apps that track

As digital dependence grows, we’ll see an increasing number of tactics emerge throughout the year.

Mall brawls

Social media has been blamed for triggering teen disturbances at malls.

As a result, an increasing number of shopping centers are banning unaccompanied minors on weekend nights. Although some mall officials add curfews only on holiday weekends, restrictions are becoming more widespread.

Fake or real?

Researchers say that the 24 hour news cycle not only gives kids information, but also causes them to feel afraid or angry.

Fewer than half of the children studied can distinguish between fake news and real news. (Perhaps adult percentages wouldn’t be that different!)

Digital literacy skills were supposed to receive major time and attention in classrooms during the school year that’s coming to a close. I’m not convinced that happened.

Parents can make a deliberate attempt to talk with children about news stories. News topics which triggered the most stress and anxiety in kids: global issues related to safety, financial uncertainty and war.

Unlocking parenting mysteries

Next-gen dads continue to surprise and delight.

Recent data indicates that more millennial dads than moms watch parenting videos on YouTube.

Of course, online is only one and many sources of information for multi-platform millennials, but it’s still a positive that moms and dads want to learn how to effectively parent.