The Biggest Parenting Mistake In Modern History

Excerpt from this article:

Let’s get straight to the point: the Parental Control concept is the biggest parenting mistake in modern history. Sounds too aggressive? It’s not, and here’s why.

Good parenting is about teaching our kids to think on their own — letting them make the right decisions while guiding them in the process, teaching them to practice good habits, and leading by example. It’s about communicating what’s right and wrong to our children, and exerting some control only when necessary. Apply too much control and you defeat the purpose of teaching them how to survive and thrive on their own.

Parental Control solutions are promising an easy fix. They are telling us that It’s all about us, the parents, controlling our kids, that you shouldn’t ask your kids for their opinion. After all we bought them the phone or the tablet. All you need to do is install a “little app” or buy a new router, press one button, and Voila! Their internet will turned off, and life is back to normal!

The reality is a far cry from this promise.

Google’s New Parental Control App Has a Flaw: Puberty

Excerpt from this article:

But if you sign up for Family Link, which is Google’s new parental controls software for managing children’s Android phones, Google decides for you. At the age of 13, a child can choose to “graduate,” as Google calls it, or lift restrictions, getting the keys to the internet kingdom and all the good and bad things that come with it.

That’s too bad, because at first glance, Family Link has all the hallmarks of a winner. It is free, well designed and packed with thoughtful features for regulating a child’s smartphone use, like the ability to monitor how often a game is played or even to lock down a device during bedtime.

Yet nearly all of those benefits are undermined by Google’s decision to let children remove the restrictions the instant they become teenagers.

Everyone Makes Mistakes: Teaching Kids How to Fix Things When Texting Goes Awry

Instagram, texting, kids and cellphones, tweens and smartphones, friendship

Excerpt from this article:

As parents or teachers we can get too focused on PREVENTING digital mistakes that can ruin friendships and reputations. We need to offer mentorship to our kids on how to repair things (when possible). We can model this in our own social media lives.

In my student workshops, I ask kids to brainstorm about how to correct such a mistake. A common problem is an “overshare,” where they have shared something too personal about themselves. Another is when your child shares a friend’s good news—or even a secret.

They know that they can’t put the overshare or secret “back in the box,” but kids’ instincts are to try to limit the damage. Quickly. In these workshops, they suggest taking down the offending post, deleting the picture, and apologizing, or at least letting people know that it was a mistake.

But how can they make it right? In many settings, from youth groups to religious schools to public schools student propose solutions that are concerning or ill-advised. For example,  many kids will try to “spread some lies” to cover up when they’ve shared someone’s secret and that person is upset with them. Another bad idea: “I’ll let them get revenge.For example: I’ll let my friend spread a rumor about me. As a parent and educator, I find myself shaking my head! But,  when embroiled in a social error, kids feel an urgency to take further steps to fix it “for good,” quickly.

These problem-solving techniques came from 5th and 6th graders who are just learning how to negotiate complicated social relationships. Many of these kids are just getting their first communication device, which adds another layer of complexity to the equation. It is important to look at where these kids are developmentally when we consider getting them a smartphone.

We have to help kids understand that rumors, lies, and revenge strategies just exacerbate the situation. Kids are focused on the immediate issue, and often have trouble seeing the larger picture. Sometimes when the parameters of trust in a relationship change, it takes time to fix—and your child can actually make it worse by trying to fix it in one gesture.

9 Things To Ask Siri That Your Kids Will Find Hilarious

Excerpt from this article:

Want to hear your kids laugh, but find that funny faces and silly sounds just aren’t cutting it? Have knock-knock jokes been falling flat in your household of late? Lucky for you, those mini handheld computers we tote around everywhere have the solution, and its name is Siri. If you have an Apple iPhone, here are a few things to ask Siri that are sure to make your kids giggle and guffaw