Sharenting? A Child’s Digital Future Requires Careful Consideration Today

It was so much easier when we shared in photo albums!

It was so much easier when we shared in photo albums!

I’ve often written about sharenting — defined as digital age parents sharing their 21st Century kids’ photos, stories, and information via Facebook, blogs, and other public online social media.

If you are mulling over the sharenting topic and want more guidance and perspective, take a few minutes to read a just-published article over at Sonya Livingstone’s Parenting for a Digital Future blog. The article, written by Alicia Blum-Ross, Where and When Does a Parent’s Right to Share End Online?, discusses the ways that bloggers who are also parents think about sharing information online and the “digital dilemma” that they experience. Blum-Ross also explores how these parents consider the future that their children will experience while growing up and examining the digital information about themselves.

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Civility Is Now Devalued — So What Will Adults Do About It?

If there is ever a time to emphasize ideas on civility, commenting, fact-checking, and media literacy, it’s during an election. Children, preadolescents, and teens will learn much during the 2016 presidential campaign just from all the watching. (Read my post The Children are Watching and Seeing, Listening and Hearing.)

Our traditional expectations for civility and ethical behavior are cracking apart right before our eyes.

On the basis of what’s happened at recent political conventions and the beginning of the election season, young people will be witnessing name calling, stereotyping, hateful comments, online hate, and in some cases veiled bodily threats. Kids will hear things on TV at home and on the televisions that are broadcasting in lounges, waiting rooms, doctor’s offices, and everywhere else. They will hear radios broadcasting the news at home and in other peoples’ homes. And, of course, there’s social media.

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The Right Age for a Smartphone? Interesting NY Times Article

os7iphone-2Take a few minutes to read What’s the Right Age for a Child to Get a Smartphone? by Brian X Chen. The July 20, 2016 New York Times article includes interviews with Internet Safety experts and contains some advice from other parents.

The Take-aways? (Well, we know most of this, but reminders are always useful.)                      Continue reading

Three Basic — and Best — Digital Parenting Guidelines

Whenever I have conversations about the challenges of digital parenting, people invariably ask how I might condense all of the 21st Century parenting guidance into just a few helpful suggestions.

digparentingCan you get it down to three most important tips, I’m asked?

I’ll admit that I’ve tried, on one than one occasion, to identify and condense the many elements that combine to strengthen digital world parenting skills, but the challenge takes an enormous amount of thought and even more time. Moreover, any short and succinct advice has to make it clear that we parents can no longer think about living our lives in two parts — digital and non-digital. If tips are distilled down to the basics, they still need to help adults recognize that our world changes constantly, and also that it requires us to continually learn from our children — refining our parenting strategies  as we go along.

The good news is that one of my colleagues, Craig Luntz at the Calvert School in Baltimore, has come up with a three-part framework to help families navigate through changing expectations in the 21st Century world. When he works with parents at his school Craig offers the following three-part digital parenting plan.                      Continue reading

What to Say to Kids After We Are Saturated With Horrific Images

MD Momma

Check out helpful links for parents are at the end of this column.

We are all still reeling from the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

For parents of digital kids, who with their children take all-the-time media access for granted, the greatest challenge is to figure out how to moderate what their youngsters see and hear in the days immediately following an event. It’s especially difficult because adults often want to be updated continuously by media resources.

Here’s a Boston Globe article with suggestions about how parents can help children feel safer and more secure after frightening events. Written by pediatrician Claire McCarthy for her MD Mama column, the piece also offers links to additional resources on parenting after scary, media saturated events. Dr. McCarthy reminds parents that they can get their updates from smartphones and laptops rather than keeping a radio or television turned on.

shooting tips quote

This graphic links to the MGH article.

 Best Quote

        “…as parents, we don’t get the luxury of processing and dealing separately from our children.”

Massachusetts General Hospital, where many injured people were taken, has posted How to Talk to Kids Following the Boston Marathon Tragedy, including the excellent graphic on the left. 

You might also find it helpful to read blog posts, one that I wrote after the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Media Literate Disaster Discussions Balance Concern With Hope, and another, Talking to Children About the News.

Resources for parents and educators are also available at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website.

9 Suggestions to Help Families Think About Digital Device Moderation

Designed using images from the Apple website.

Designed using images from the Apple website.

I love my iPhone and iPad, and I cannot do many things without them. For children under 13, however, use time should be carefully monitored by each family. Kids today are playing independently with powerful devices, and they — the devices and the children — are not intended to interact in isolation and for long periods without adult supervision.

An article that provides food for thought, Your Phone Verses Your Heart, appeared in the March 23, 2013 New York Times. Also, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics media resources — the pediatricians are making recommendations because they know what they are talking about.

Just today I asked a group of device-savvy fifth graders, most around age 10, if they know anything about SnapChat, the app that deletes pictures in one to ten seconds (leaving plenty of time for a recipient with poor judgement to take a screen shot and save the photo). Just about every hand went up. During a lesson a few months ago I asked them how many of them know how to make a screenshot — and they can all do it in a lot less than ten seconds. Read my SnapChat review here.

A Few Social Media Supervision Suggestions            Continue reading

Comparing Tech Skills: Pre-Schoolers vs. Adults

I recently discovered an interesting comment on a Linked In discussion, part of the ed-tech topics that I often follow.

The conversation asked the question, “Are tablets and iPads the new textbooks?” and the discussion was about an Educause article, E-Books in Higher Education: Are We There Yet? Educause is a non-profit sector organization that aims to help individuals “who lead, manage, and use information technology to shape strategic IT decisions at every level within higher education.”

In the Linked In conversation, Randy Tanner (Linked In profile) described the research of a colleague who is a doctoral candidate at Capella University whose dissertation research investigates the influence of iPads, tablets, and smart phones on pre-schoolers. According to Tanner:

One amazing fact she shared is that the typical 4-year-old is technically more competent with tablets and smart phones than the average adult. Think of the impact to primary school methodology. This isn’t the tech-savvy Millennial Y-generation; this the post-Millennial Z-Gen who may never touch a desktop PC and categorize laptops with 8-track players.

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