The Biggest Parenting Mistake In Modern History

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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.

Is Snooping on Teenagers Ever O.K.?

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Helpfully, recent research calls into question the utility of snooping and suggests better approaches for parents who are concerned that something might be amiss.

Adults who suspect their adolescent is up to something may feel compelled to cross privacy boundaries, but research on Dutch families found that the teenagers of prying parents weren’t misbehaving any more than those whose parents didn’t snoop. Notably, the same study instead linked parents’ snooping to their worries about the strength of their relationship with their teenager. According to Skyler Hawk, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, “the act of snooping seems to say more about what the parents are feeling than what their kids are doing.”

For parents who find themselves fretting about their connection to their teenagers, a new study in the Journal of Adolescence suggests that snooping is unlikely to make things better.

…“When parents engage in behaviors that teenagers see as privacy invasions,” Dr. Hawk said, “it backfires because parents end up knowing less.”

Your Baby Boomer Mom’s Use of Technology Is Incredible, Not Embarrassing

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She has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which she essentially uses as intended by documenting her rad (post-retirement) life. There’s the occasional selfie with her girlfriends, dispatches from vacations and hikes, her favorite funny signs at political rallies. But the majority of her posts are homages to her children — me and my brother. She uses social media both to keep tabs on what we’re up to and to broadcast that information to her network of people. She loves to share my work (with simply the caption “Alana,” no tag) and photos of our family awkwardly squeezed into a restaurant booth and bathed in terrible overhead lighting. She also LOVES to interact with our status updates, as if they are addressed directly to her…

Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos

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A Maryland couple who played elaborate “pranks” on their children, then racked up millions of views on YouTube before critics accused them of abuse, could end up losing two of their children after their biological mother obtained a court order for temporary custody.

…The parents first defended the videos, posted on the DaddyOFive account with more than 760,000 subscribers, as a harmless family activity that the children enjoyed, but they have gone on an apology tour after widespread criticism emerged in April. In the videos, the couple verbally berated their five school-age children, frequently to the point of tears, while performing stunts like appearing to destroy an Xbox video game system and accusing the children of making messes they had not made.

YouTube: More Millennial Dads Watch Parenting Videos Than Millennial Moms

youtube-millennial-dads

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During a panel at the South By Southwest multimedia conference in Austin this week, YouTube shared that more millennial dads watch parenting-related videos on its platform than millennial moms. And in a study conducted alongside research outfits Flamingo and Ipsos Connect, the video giant shared several other findings about millennial parents.

Forty percent of millennials are parents today, for instance, and they tend to have more open relationships with their children than past generations, CNBC reports — with 80% of survey respondents saying that their child is one of their best friends, and 75% saying that their child is involved in household decisions.

The Guilty Secret of Distracted Parenting

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Parents at the playground looking at their phones while their children play, unsupervised. Parents at the Little League game checking their email and missing the all-important at-bat. Parents at dinner focused on the action on their screens, rather than the real people around the table.

We don’t always like to admit it, but taking care of small children is often quite tedious. When my three children were small, I wouldn’t have made it through without a certain amount of distraction.

 

Father Of 4 Daughters Refuses To Sugarcoat His Instagram Pics, Takes Internet By Storm

Father Of Daughters

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If other people’s perfect photos make you feel bad about yourself, it’s because they don’t show the reality! That’s why Simon Hooper, father of 4 daughters, decided to show what parenting really looks like. The result? Now he has more than 190k Instagram followers, and they’re growing like crazy.

 

Screen time guidelines need to be built on evidence, not hype

Context and content may be more important factors than time alone when it comes to technology use during childhood

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As a group of scientists from different countries and academic fields with research expertise and experience in screen time, child development and evidence-based policy, we are deeply concerned by the underlying message of this letter. In our opinion, we need quality research and evidence to support these claims and inform any policy discussion. While we agree that the wellbeing of children is a crucial issue and that the impact of screen-based lifestyles demands serious investigation, the message that many parents will hear is that screens are inherently harmful. This is simply not supported by solid research and evidence.

“Kids Don’t Understand Privacy Anymore”

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All of this centers around a strong set of values—which parents and other mentors, can model for kids. The new world of social media does mean we all get to ignore our values, but it does require us to help young people navigate how their ideas get filtered and shared through these new means of communication. For instance, you have a sense of when it’s OK to resolve an issue via e-mail, but you also understand when it’s best to have a face-to-face discussion. The issue for kids is no different at its core—it’s just the medium that’s different. The challenge for you lies in the nuances of each communication mechanism, be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Stick to your core values. It is OK to emphasize things such as loyalty, but show your kids the difference between the the ways we communicate.

When Tech Is a Problem Child

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For the last six weeks, I’ve circulated (on social media!) 20 questions covering topics like homework, passwords, bedtime and punishments. I received responses from more than 60 families, and though the survey was unscientific, the answers have already changed how we manage tech at my house.

FIRST PHONES The vast majority of parents who responded gave their children their first phones in sixth or seventh grade, with a few holding out until high school. But those devices aren’t always cutting edge. Parents opted for “dumb phones,” “flip phones” or “hand-me-down phones” from siblings or grown-ups. They also turn off features, including Wi-Fi, Siri, even internet access.

FAMILY TIME Perhaps the biggest complaint about technology is that it eats into family time. So what techniques have parents used to take back that time?

First, tech-free dining. “No devices for all meals.” “No phones at the table, and that’s not just at our house. Siblings, nieces, nephews and my mom’s home have the same rule. No one gripes about it, they just do it.” “No devices at meals. No earbuds in the car.”

…Finally, when all else fails, many rely on the old parental standbys: threats, bribes and public humiliation. Threats: “Randomly I scream, ‘Take that phone out of your hand!’ It limits their use for the next five minutes.”

Bribes: “Parent-child date night. (Parents alternate taking one child out for a treat; fourth week is parents night out.)”

Public humiliation: “If a device is picked up during family time, we get to open texts, and my husband and I do dramatic text reading.”