Technology Tuesday: Our Podcast has Landed!

If you’re following us on social media, you know we’ve been dropping hints (because we couldn’t keep it a secret!) that we’ve been working on a podcast with our friend, Sarah Bragg based on our newest book, Are My Kids on Track:  The 12 Milestones Your Child Need to Reach.  Sarah has been offering encouragement and hope to folks at her podcast, Surviving Sarah, for years now.  It’s a series of thoughtful conversations that make you laugh and think, designed to help you keep your head above water while living with purpose…  

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Technology Tuesday: Spring Break Technology Sabbath

Whenever we speak about technology to parents, we stress the importance of taking Technology Sabbaths...  If we’re going to teach the kids we love to unplug, we need to do so, as well.  We have families at Daystar who are taking technology-free spring breaks…or even a day or two technology-free on their spring breaks.  We also have parents who purposely go on trips where WiFi isn’t available or doesn’t work so well…might just be a thought for future family trips!

I was with a group of high school girls this week talking about their spring breaks, and the subject of social media came up.  They quickly started talking about how hard it can be, seeing all the photos of friends in glamorous locations, often together, and looking perfectly...

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Technology Tuesday: To Siri With Love

Last month, we were teaching our class called Taming the Technology Monster.  As always, by the time I finished talking, the parents in the room looked stricken.  It’s probably the most alarming issue for parents of all ages in this technology-saturated world.  One woman raised her hand and said, “I’m a mom of littles and you’ve sufficiently terrified me.  Can you tell me one thing that technology has done for good in the lives of our kids?”

There are a lot of things.  We are big fans of Common Sense Media and the Empathy and Social Skills building apps you can find there for kids... 

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Technology Tuesday: Should I Help My Teenager Have Social Media?

Our 13-year old son just got his first phone, and he does not have any social media accounts. He’s not interested in opening any - but lots of his friends have them.

Last week, 1500 miles north of us in a different state, a 17 year-old friend of ours (who also does not have social media) discovered that some girls had created a fake Snapchat account under her name, and started posting very distasteful, false photos of a girl they claimed was her...

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Technology Tuesday: App Alert - House Party

Welcome to a house party in a whole new way!  It’s the new app teenagers have been talking about in my counseling office.  Basically, it’s an app where you can video chat with up to 8 friends at once.  As a side note, while video chatting 8 friends, you can text one (or several) friends in particular.  It’s enough to make your over-30 year-old head spin…but not theirs!

House Party can be an innocent way to connect with multiple friends at once.  But, as always, we want to be educated, as adults, and help the kids we love be informed.  The primary concerns about the House Party app...

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Technology Tuesday: Should my middle schooler have access to Social Media?

This is a question we're asked weekly in our counseling offices. We always recommend having development serve as a backdrop in making the best decisions for the kids and adolescents we love.

This medical professional (and mom of four) wisely coaches us through what's happening with the brain in this stage of development as we make this important decision. Take a look.

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What Technology Meant for Bad…

I love to hear stories of kids who are using technology for good…to grow their gifts and impact the world in ways God has uniquely gifted them.  I have one high school friend who is doing just that.  Her Instagram account is @thenashvillekid.  Her tagline is “Just a kid showing off Nashville’s best.”  She’s a photographer, an artist, and talented in so many ways that you can see as you scroll through her photos on her Instagram and her website...   

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Technology Tuesday: App Alert - Sarahah

Here we go again…a new social media app that is taking the teenage technology world by storm.  And, according to the kids (and parents) who have been talking about it in my office, it’s a pretty sad and hurtful storm.

It’s called Sarahah, which means “honesty” in Arabic.  It was released in June of 2017, and it purports to help you “discover your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner...

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Technology Tuesday: Yellow

Technology Tuesday’s are our commitment to let you know the latest trends affecting the kids we love as soon as we hear—particularly, those apps we believe you should be concerned about.  The latest of those is “Yellow.”  It’s referred to as “Tinder for teenagers,” which is currently one of the most popular dating apps, designed for adults (but, of course, now being used by teenagers, too).  

On the App Store, Yellow boasts “more than 7 million users are making new friends everyday on Yellow!  Join the community right now.  Yellow is an easy and free way to make new friends and chat with them.”  Yellow offers the ability...

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Technology Tuesday: Snapchat Streaks

 “I only have like 10 streaks going, but a lot of my friends have 30.”

A middle school girl went on to describe a Snapchat “streak” to me in my office this week.  By her definition, a streak is when you snapchat each other every day for a given number of days.

“Some people have streaks with 100 days.  I know a girl who has a streak for 600 days with someone.  Basically, if you don’t have a streak going with someone, it means you don’t like them...”

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There are More Than 13 Reasons Why Your Life Matters...and What You Can Do About It

So, here’s the thing.  I know everybody is talking about 13 Reasons Why.  I get it.  It’s compelling.  It feels a lot like your life these days.  You’re glad somebody’s talking about what’s going on at school.  You want the adults in your life to understand how hard it is to be a teenager today.  I really do get it.  It’s so much harder than when we were growing up.  I sit with teenagers every day and hear what’s going on in their lives:  the real-life bullying, depression, self-harm…all of the things this show is trying to bring to light.  I’m a counselor, and have been for 24 years.

Here’s the other thing that I’ll tell you, from a counseling perspective.  It’s not just bringing things to light...

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Technology Tuesday: Going Live!

“I walked out of my bathroom yesterday, wrapped in a towel, only to hear my ten year-old yell, ‘I’m going live!’”.

“Going live” is now evidently the thing.  This ten year-old was “going live” on Musical.ly, only to show her latest “slime” to her five followers, including grandparents and an aunt.  “Going live” basically means live-streaming a video of you—doing whatever you want to do.  People who follow you can click to watch and comment, unless you turn off the commenting feature.  (And slime, by the way, is exactly what it sounds like).  Facebook has a live component, as well as Instagram.  In fact, TeenVogue recently did an article called “6 Tips for Instagram Live.”  The article went on to say...

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Social Media Shame

I wrote this last year around vacation time…and, since it’s vacation season again, I thought it bore repeating.  Happy Spring Break, everyone!  And may we continue to be committed to encouraging and extending grace to each other…in real life and on social media. 

If you and I are friends/followers on social media, by the time you read this, you’ll probably hate me...

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Technology Tuesday: Asterisks and Affection

“I wasn’t sure how I could help, but what I really wanted to do was hug him.”

But not just hug—it was more like *hug*.  

“What does the asterisk mean?”

“It’s when the role play starts.  I wanted to hug him, so when I typed asterisks, it was like I virtually hugged him.  And then things took a bad turn from there..."

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Technology Tuesday: Disney Circle

When we’re teaching on Taming the Technology Monster, one of the most common questions is…so what do we do? Thankfully, there are many great programs out now to help safeguard our kids’ hearts and minds when it comes to Technology.  We try to write about them regularly on Technology Tuesday’s!  

The issue with filters and monitoring services is wanting something that can take the hassle out of it for you.  It’s just hard to find time to be on top of technology, while the kids around us seem to find all of the time in the world.  So, we do our best to take the guesswork out of it at raisingboysandgirls.com and help you find your way to helpful, safe, user-friendly platforms to protect your home and family...

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Girls, Bravery, and Bible Belles

I talk with girls a LOT about bravery behind the doors of my counseling office.  Girls often have a tendency to shrink back.  They doubt their voices.  They don’t believe they’re capable.  They don’t trust their strength.  I believe those doubts are a contributor to the struggles I see—with self-esteem, with anxiety, and with a whole host of issues girls face today in greater amounts than ever before.

For those of us who have girls in our lives that we love, we want something different.  We want them to feel brave, courageous, resilient, strong.  And we want them to learn to pepper those important traits with kindness...

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Technology Tuesday: Raising a Balanced Child in a Tech-Savvy World

We live in an era where technology is literally everywhere, and while we all have to use screens in some capacity, it seems that some kids are strongly pulled to them more than others. In spite of us having firm rules on screen usage... (30 minutes of earned time a day, based upon completion of household chores prior to being able to play), our 6-year old talks about video games non stop. He’s involved in soccer and plays outside every day after school - and he’s doing just fine developmentally / academically, but he is totally fixated on the plots and characters of Mario Bros., etc. He asks multiple times a day if he can play...

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Technology Tuesday: Why Internet Safety Is a Challenge, and Why There’s Hope

We wanted to welcome back one of our favorite resources for educating families and keeping kids safe, Affinity Technology Partners.  We are excited that they will be doing a four-part Technology Tuesday series for us over the next few weeks.

Real Dangers

The internet is a mixed bag, as we all know. We enjoy the convenience and new experiences it offers us. But we also all have a vague sense that there’s a “bad” side of the internet—a side we don’t want children to experience. We’ve heard stories of horrible cases of cyberbullying, which at the very least can be crushing to self-esteem...

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