To share or not to share?

Our sharing economy has triggered countless embarrassing images appearing online.

Although transparency is becoming a cultural virtue, consider where you set sharing boundaries. After all, a picture of a naked six month old might not seem funny or harmless when that child is a tween or teen.

Summer “makers”

Students who spent the school year working with motors, switches and gears as part of the “Maker’s Movement” initiative won’t miss a beat this summer.

Science centers, libraries, museums and even camps are inviting kids to use “real” woodworking tools, circuit boards, and soldering equipment.

“Making” has birthed the next generation of inventors, and these kids won’t stop just because it’s summer.

If your flashlight is missing a battery or bulb, check your preschooler’s light saber.

Training label readers

Training kids to be label readers will be easier than ever this summer, when children shadow us through grocery aisles.

“Clean” labels, with recognizable and fewer ingredients make it possible for even new young readers to know what’s in a package. A benefit of the healthy living movement.

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.

Dreamy desserts

Will kids grow up assuming that every ice cream treat offers an over-the-top experience?

Last summer’s hybrid confections of cotton candy with ice cream and the popularity of unique ice cream flavors (English breakfast tea, anyone? Popcorn and sea salt to top your cone?) became social media sensations.

Perhaps this year we’ll have a real breakthrough: a dreamy dessert that’s almost healthy.

Prevent summer slide

As summer reading programs kick off, we’ll see more co-operative programs between libraries, school districts, zoos, aquariums and museums than ever before.

The softening of borders between these former “silos” is welcomed by educators who seek to reduce the impact of “summer slide,” or the loss of academic skills during the seasonal recess.

Look for programs in which literacy, parenting, nature, health and science all crossover to keep kids mentally and physically active.

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.