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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Technology Tuesday: Taking Instagram On Your Family Trip

This summer, you’ll likely be taking a family vacation at some point.  If you have teenagers, they may be on the reluctant side.  They’re worried about what they’ll miss socially back at home, whether they’ll be 60 miles away or an entire ocean.  But, thanks to social media, they don’t have to miss much.  Or, maybe they have more reason to be reminded of what they’re missing.  It definitely goes both ways...

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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: Social Media & Teens

NPR featured an important conversation about how social media is impacting the social and sexual lives of girls.

Listen to what one author discovered, after years of research, are differences between what girls and boys are posting, how girls are treated and how boys behave online, and some of the new (scary) trends in social media.

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This Is The Year To Stop Comparing

As a counselor to girls, I spend a lot of time talking about mean girls.  But I also spend more time than I wish talking about mean moms.  I get it.  Especially when you feel like your child is being criticized or even attacked, your inner mama bear---or mama lion comes out.  I’m not talking about standing up and beside your child.  Every child needs to feel like their mom is their biggest advocate and cheerleaders.  

What am I talking about, however, is the criticism that we can all easily slip into.  Social media just compounds the problem.  We start to compare…and then shift into being critical.  We do it online and in person.  I’m just as guilty as you are…

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Technology Tuesday: bitmoji

Want to surprise your teenager?  Use your own bitmoji!

We’re always advocates of staying ahead of the game with your kids in terms of technology.  It’s no easy task.  That’s why we have Technology Tuesday’s…to keep you in the know so you can keep your kids safe.  And, from time to time, we want to keep you in the know so you can have a little fun with your kids...

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Technology Tuesday: The 10 Most Violent Video Games of 2015

I’m often asked about certain video games by parents.  Boys can be drawn to video games like a moth to a flame.  As with all of technology, it’s important we continue doing our research.

We need to know our sons individually, study development, set healthy limits, make sure they balance screen time with movement and being active, and do our homework.   There willalways be certain games...

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“Have you heard of  It’s the new thing.  All the kids are downloading it!”  The mom who said these words to me yesterday is one I trust.  As a mom, she’s on it and had already downloaded the app and gave me a preview when she came into my office.

“You click here.  And here.  And I just kept clicking to see what I could find.  I didn’t end up seeing anything pornographic yet, but I think I was just a few clicks away... 

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I spend a lot of time with girls talking about their bodies…body image, body weight, body size, as well as the body image, weight, sizes of the girls surrounding them at school.  Of course, as a counselor to girls, this is one of the issues that plague them the most.  Now, in the age of selfies and snapchat, they are constantly uploading pictures for all of the world to see.  But how many selfies do they actually take before it’s the right “selfie?”  How do they angle their elbows in just the right way?  Position their heads?  Do anything that can make them look a few pounds lighter or a few inches thinner?  Anything that can make us look the same? (We’re guilty, too…)

As always, our tech friends have stepped up to the plate with an answer...

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Technology Tuesday: Exaggeration, Social Media, and Kids Today!

Counseling kids today, particularly girls, I am increasingly concerned at the exaggeration of words they use on a daily basis.  They’re “so done” about almost everything.  They’re “over it.”  They’re “dying.”  Someone is a “stalker” that looks on their social media several times.  And that’s not even beginning to describe the mental health jargon...  A friend who is emotional is “bipolar.”  Someone who changes their mood is “schizophrenic.”  They’re also diagnosing themselves with alarming frequency...

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Technology Tuesday: Social Media Shame

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

As a strange twist of fate and crazy planning, I happen to have two vacations back to back.  I know…kind of a social media faux pas.  I honestly thought about not posting...any photos of my second vacation.  I didn’t want to make people jealous.  But, the problem is, I like to take fun pictures.

What’s going on behind the pictures is sometimes different…

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