A day doesn’t go by where I don’t hear something about Fortnite. It’s the game the majority of boys (of all ages) seem to be talking about these days. It was something completely different a year ago, and chances are good it will be something completely different a year from now. But for today, it’s Fortnite. Though it’s rated “T” for Teen, many parents of younger boys are allowing boys to explore it.
Many parents have compromised because of it’s cartoonish nature, or the lack of profanity or blood. There are sites and commentaries arguing the advantages of strategic thinking, teamwork and creativity. Equally so, there are sites and commentaries arguing... Read More
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... Read More
Sissy and David had a BLAST recording an episode of the awesome podcast Mommin' Ain't Easy with their new friends, Jennifer and Courtney! On it, we talk about everything from the emotional and social milestones kids need to reach to our numbers on the enneagram and more! Check out their podcast...we know you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!
You can find them on Instagram or Facebook. And, if you haven't grabbed a copy of "Are My Kids on Track?" you can get yours here. Read More
Happy Technology Tuesday/almost Ash Wednesday!
We are big fans of Lent around Raising Boys and Girls…if you can be big fans of Lent. At least, we’re fans of paring back, taking time to reflect and remember, and wait with a little more hunger and expectation for Easter. This year, we’ve got a Lenten challenge for... Read More
We get asked at every parenting seminar, in every school and church where we speak. “When is the right age to give kids a cell phone...?”
We recently heard about a new trend that is sweeping the country, and will undoubtedly be a part of our answer from here on out. It’s called #waituntil8th and is for parents who feel concerned about the effects of smartphones on the kids they love. One such mom in Austin, TX started the movement... Read More
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... Read More
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. Read More
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...
Have you updated your iPhone to iOS11? If so, you might have noticed that your screen goes dark and displays a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” message. It’s one of the features of Apple’s newest operating system, and one that can be REALLY helpful in the lives of the kids we love.
When this feature is turned on, your iPhones stays silent if you receive a text. The sender, however, will receive an automatic reply that lets them know you’re driving... Read More
“I saw a guy drop his Juul the other day. The teacher picked it up and handed it back to him, thinking it was a flash drive.”
One of the high school students in a group counseling session told us this story just last week. And then every one of them went on to talk about the kids in their classes who were bringing their Juuls to school and using them in class... Read More
Are you doing your best to keep up with your kids’ texts, but only able to understand a word or two inserted in between cryptic emojis? Welcome to the world of teenagers today. They use Acronyms and Emojis to communicate more than words these days. And, as typically happens, we’re often behind the 🎱
So, I sat with some teenage girls recently to decode their codes. I asked them about the slang words they’re using lately, the acronyms, and the emojis. Buckle up for their answers… Read More
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... Read More
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. Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
Every parent wonders about this before the big purchase.
Here are 3 important questions to ask before making the purchase.
In addition, here’s a great checklist of daily tasks kids should be completing before the big purchase. Read More
Congratulations! You’ve officially made the transition from summer to the school year. Well, you’ve had the first day of school anyway. We know from our work with kids that transitioning into a new school year takes longer for some kids than others. We are rooting you on, wherever you may be in the settling into a new school year. Read More
For many kids and families this also means transitioning to new technology needs based on your child’s school and outside assignments...
An App for College Kids…or anyone who might need someone to walk them home...
Over the past month, I’ve seen countless photos on social media of friends dropping their college freshmen off—in cities faraway surrounded by people they hardly know. I am sure every parent drives off those campuses filled to the brim with lots of hope, and more than a little fear... Read More
Everything is Awesome…
Have you seen the new ad for Xfinity? “Everything is awesome,” it starts out…meaning “everything is cool when you’re watching a screen.” It even mentions “more selfies.” Yep. You can watch... Read More
What kind of Gamer is your son?
- A Casual Gamer
- An At-Risk Gamer
- An Addicted Gamer
After just 20 minutes of play, the body changes. Take a look at this valuable information from the great folks at Families Managing Media and determine what kind of gamer your son may be... Read More
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... Read More