Technology Tuesday: The World Of Fandoms

Have you ever heard of a fandom?  I hadn’t…until a few weeks ago.  I knew there were a lot of girls who wrote “fan fiction.”  My understanding of fan fiction up to this point was that certain kids (and adults, too) write stories to supplement the stories in their favorite movies or TV shows, even comics and books.  Fan fiction exists for just about every thing you can think of that has a plot.  Star Wars, Once Upon a Time, Dr. Who.  I’ve recently been hearing a lot about the TV show, Ninjago.  (Just in case you’re clueless like me, Ninjago is about Lego Ninjas.  Yep, didn’t really help me understand, either)...

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Technology Tuesday: When Should my Child be Allowed on Social Media?

We are asked constantly about what age is appropriate for my child to have this gadget or that.  We believe that what is most important is twofold:

1) the world your child lives in socially

2) the emotional age of your child.

Something we say constantly in parenting seminars is that you don’t want your child to be the first and you don’t want your child to be the last to______________.  Fill in the blank with anything, including owning gadgets and signing up for social media sites.  If your child is the first, they will often be perceived as faster or wilder or more on the cutting edge of things, which is not where you want your child to live.  If they are the last on every trendy gadget or privilege, they will often be the ones who rebel.  You can choose one or two things to hold out on, but kids often rise to the level of trust we place in them.  You want to gradually expose them to social media and let themselves prove they are responsible... READ MORE

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Technology Tuesday: Parenting In The Virtual Age

“When can I get a smart phone?”

“That is such an invasion of my privacy!

“If I stop the game now, I’ll never get to the next level.”

“I am the only person in my grade without a Facebook page!” 

“Other people text way more of the time than I do.” 

As a counselor, I (David) have heard a parent report one of the above statements over a thousand times.  Parenting a child or teenager in this day and age requires an advanced degree in navigating, negotiating and understanding media and technology.  As much as media and technology can be an invaluable resource to your child’s growing mind, it can also be a debilitating force.  Obtaining this advanced degree involves surveying the options, identifying the pros and cons, and setting age-appropriate media and technology boundaries... READ MORE

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