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iPhone Monitoring Your Teens: the Very Basics

Topics: iPhone, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, positive parenting practices, parental mobile controls, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, Cellphone Rules & Safety

Setting Digital Rules for Your Teens and Tweens

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, discipline

Don't Be Naive. Take the Initiative With Your Kids and Social Media

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, twitter, instagram, monitoring, positive parenting practices, For Tweens & Teens, Spying vs Engaging

3 Effective Digital Parenting Mantras to Live By

Topics: Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, peer pressure, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, discipline

Making Your Teens Your "Friends"

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles

Texting: A Miraculous Tool for All Digital Parents

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, social issues, texting rules & safety

7 Simple Steps Parents Can Take To Enforce Mobile and Internet Safety

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, parental mobile controls, Spying vs Engaging

Cyberbullying and Tweens: What to Do When Your Child Is the Bully

Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, communication, positive parenting practices, victims of cyberbullying, Spying vs Engaging

Study Suggests More Family Dinners to Combat Cyberbullying

Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, positive parenting practices, prevention, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, child app

Digital Cleanse Your Home This Summer

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

What Are Tech-Free Zones and Are They Right For My Family?

Topics: Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, positive parenting practices, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, Tech-Free Zones

How To Approach Punishing Your Teen For a Digital Slip-Up

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Kids' TV Time Doesn't Have to be Mindless

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, kids & technology, Spying vs Engaging

Surprise, Surprise: TV Time Linked With Less Sleep For Kids

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing

Is Your Cell Phone Use at Dinnertime Hurting Your Kids?

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, addictions

Utah Mom's Facebook Check May Have Saved Son From Shooting Plot

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, positive parenting practices, dangers & safety, Spying vs Engaging

How to Use Media to Raise Resilient Kids

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, For Parents, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

How Is Technology Affecting Your Family?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, online predators, positive parenting practices, kids & technology, internet safety resources, Spying vs Engaging

5 Tips to Protect Your Children from Dangerous Games on Social Media

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Social Trends, Online & Console Gaming, Spying vs Engaging, child app

In Defense Of Texting, My Favorite Parenting Tool

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, texting rules & safety

LATEST POSTS    

iPhone Monitoring Your Teens: the Very Basics

Posted by Steven Woda

April 30, 2015 at 7:33 PM

The threats of identity theft, iCloud hacking, stalking and harassment are very real in the digital age. Thus, safeguarding your children from the perils posed by new technology has become part and parcel of modern day parenting.

The troubling aspect of this necessity is that the technologies are constantly evolving, making it imperative to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable on digital defense. Luckily, Apple is consistently making iPhone monitoring for parents much more accessible and easier to accomplish.

Enabling Restrictions

Read More

Topics: iPhone, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, positive parenting practices, parental mobile controls, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, Cellphone Rules & Safety

Setting Digital Rules for Your Teens and Tweens

Posted by Steven Woda

April 23, 2015 at 7:47 PM

Being a digital parent is an assignment that is not easy to handle. It is certainly something that is not always all that easy. However, digital parenting is a part of the expectations for parents these days. Without proper supervision, teens can make huge mistakes online as well as they can anywhere else. 

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, discipline

Don't Be Naive. Take the Initiative With Your Kids and Social Media

Posted by Tim Woda

March 4, 2015 at 9:16 PM

You’ve heard countless news stories highlighting instances of kids and social media gone wrong. Headlines about young teens getting involved in cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft and online predator catastrophes practically populate the Internet. Whether you have only heard the buzz about these dangers from afar or personally know a victim, it’s clear that there is a lot going on in the social media world that can wreak havoc on a child’s life.

By all accounts, social media will continue to be a risk to inexperienced tweens, especially since kids are jumping on the social network bandwagon at younger and younger ages every year. It’s about time that safety precautions catch up with this digital danger!

The solution is for parents to become proactive instead of being reactive when it comes to their kids and social media.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, twitter, instagram, monitoring, positive parenting practices, For Tweens & Teens, Spying vs Engaging

3 Effective Digital Parenting Mantras to Live By

Posted by Steven Woda

December 31, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Are you the parent of a teenager? If so, chances are that you know the struggle of trying to keep them safe while also letting them live their life. That is what so many parents have to worry about these days. It is even harder when it comes to broaching Internet security and knowing how to approach disciplining them in the age of information.

Here are some easy digital parenting mantras that will make your job a little easier:

1. You Are The Parent

The bottom line when it comes to keeping children safe online is to remember that you are the parent and are in control. You get to set the rules for your children, and they are to obey those rules. You can make sure that the rules are fair to them while at the same time maintaining their safety. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is what you are supposed to be doing as the parent.

2. The Internet is a Privilege, Not a Right

In the same vein, kids and teens might need to periodically be reminded that their Internet use is a privilege granted to them, not a right. From their persepctive, widespread Internet access has been available to them for as long as they can remember. For this reason, it can be easy for teens, tweens and even young kids to feel entitled to have continuous Internet access from their phones or other digital devices.

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, peer pressure, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, discipline

Making Your Teens Your "Friends"

Posted by Tim Woda

December 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Social media is a little bit like driving a car. If used properly it is a wonderful tool to accomplish good or add enjoyment to your life. If used improperly however, it can not only be dangerous, it can be a weapon. Parents need to be aware of the impact their influence can have not only on their children's day to day lives but on their future as well.

In this day and age, with few exceptions, there is no keeping teens and social media apart from one another. The lessons parents can teach their children through their interactions on sites like Facebook and Instagram is invaluable. The lessons are not only as to how they use these sites, but why and when.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles

Texting: A Miraculous Tool for All Digital Parents

Posted by Steven Woda

November 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Texting has quickly become one of the primary forms of communication in the world today. There is a lot of focus on the negative forms of texting like texting while driving, texting at the dinner table or texting while a parent is trying to have a conversation with their child. Even though there are a lot of negatives associated with texting there are several positive things that texting can be used for. 

Interacting With the Community

Schools have started embracing text messages to notify parents of certain events happening at the school. Parents are also able to quickly exchange texts with other parents, sports coaches, and other community leaders easily and efficiently.

Speedy Communication During Emergencies 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, social issues, texting rules & safety

7 Simple Steps Parents Can Take To Enforce Mobile and Internet Safety

Posted by Steven Woda

November 5, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Times are quickly changing. Kids are facing a world with more access to global information and communication thanks to a number of technological advances and the development of various social networking sites and app connections. Cyberspace has afforded today's youth with the availability of digital communication and sharing, among other activities.

There are obviously many pros and cons concerning these advances, but the facts speak for themselves; youth use computers and mobile phones more today than they have ever done and at increasingly younger age ranges. Discussions on mobile and Internet safety are important in ensuring a safe and positive experience for your child and others.  

Check out these 7 simple things you can do as a parent to teach and enforce Internet and mobile safety:

  1. Set tech time limits. By setting limits to the amount of time your child spends on the phone or computer, you are also setting boundaries. Multiple studies show that too much time spent with technology can lead to poor social, physical, and mental health. Limiting cyber time keeps a child from becoming too involved online and can also enable them to develop a more balanced relationship with technology in the future. You may consider implementing tech-free zones in your house, which establish clear times and places where tech is permitted to be used.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, parental mobile controls, Spying vs Engaging

Cyberbullying and Tweens: What to Do When Your Child Is the Bully

Posted by Tim Woda

October 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

No parent wants to imagine their child as a bully but the sad fact is that it happens sometimes. When you first find out it’s your tween doing the bullying, it can be a bit devastating. Upon learning something like this, parents must take a few minutes to gather their thoughts and create a plan of action to help the offender see the error of their ways. 

It’s important to realize that being a bully doesn’t make your child a bad person or you a bad parent. However, cyberbullying is serious and something that you must deal with immediately. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away on its own because things normally get worse without intervention.

Talk to your child about the situation but be calm when you do and don't let your emotions get the better of you. It's important to focus all of your attention on your child, not on your own anger or disappointment. It's imperative to to learn what is going on in youd kid's mind and determine what is motivating them to be a bully. Understanding why it’s happening will help you find ways to deal with the problem.

What to Do When Your Tween Is a Cyberbully

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Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, communication, positive parenting practices, victims of cyberbullying, Spying vs Engaging

Study Suggests More Family Dinners to Combat Cyberbullying

Posted by Tim Woda

October 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The Huffington Post reported on a recent study on cyberbullying that was conducted by the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. One of the conclusions of the study was that regular family dinners, where children can communicate with their parents, is a key to raising awareness of instances of cyberbullying. By being able to be open about how they are being cyberbullied, children can help their parents take action to shield them from the harmful consequences.

The study was based on survey data that was garnered from 18,000 students in 49 schools in Wisconsin. It found that one in five of the respondents had been cyberbullied at least once during the past year.

Family dinners were singled out in the report because they are the most common occasion when children and parents have face to face communication with one another. But the communication can happen in other situations, such as car trips.

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, positive parenting practices, prevention, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, child app

Digital Cleanse Your Home This Summer

Posted by Steven Woda

August 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM

With summer coming to an end and a new school year beginning, now is the perfect time for families to embark on a digital cleanse! It's pretty easy for physical devices and software to pile up throughout the school year and summer time. Get you and your family refreshed and ready for the new school year!

Cleaning Out the Digital Closet

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Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

What Are Tech-Free Zones and Are They Right For My Family?

Posted by Steven Woda

June 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM

If you're finding that living in the age of digital parenting is a tough task, you are certainly not alone.  Not only are you plugged into work and life at every moment of every day, but so, too, are your kids.  Of course, it's great to be able to have answers to your questions and social interaction at the swipe of a security code, but some families are starting to explore the benefits that can be had from implementing tech-free zones within their homes and daily lives.

Of course, this begs the question: What are tech-free zones, anyway?  It may sound counter-intuitive, since digital parenting is largely built around the idea of being able to connect and relate to your kids via today's technology, but Tech-Free Zones, aptly named, are places in families' lives where technology is simply not permitted.

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, positive parenting practices, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, Tech-Free Zones

How To Approach Punishing Your Teen For a Digital Slip-Up

Posted by Tim Woda

May 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

From catching your teen sexting, to finding out that they violated your phone contract, digital slip-ups are never fun to deal with. It is not surprising that teens and parents often experience power struggles over digital rules and privileges. Teens are often given such high responsibility with technology at such young ages, that it is natural that there are going to be some problems. Digital rule-breaking is still a relatively new avenue of parenting that requires specific attention and action. 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Kids' TV Time Doesn't Have to be Mindless

Posted by Steven Woda

May 3, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Watching TV doesn't have to be mind-numbing! Make the most of TV time with your kids. This article was originally published on Common Sense Media by Sierra Filucci.

I admit I've thrown on a TV show and plopped my kid in front of the screen when I needed to get dinner on the table. And I've eked out one more hour of sleep on a Saturday morning by turning on PBS and putting out a few bowls of dry cereal.

But on the occasions when I've sat down and watched my kids' shows with them, I've been amazed by how informative and rewarding the experience was.

Take Phineas and Ferb, for example. I never realized how clever it was until I took the time to watch a whole episode with my 5-year-old. And I found so many things to talk about with him afterward. How did the boys solve the problem? (By working together.) Why was Candace so mean to her brothers? (Because she was embarrassed.) Do you think you'd do that kind of thing without asking Mom or Dad first? (No way!)

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, kids & technology, Spying vs Engaging

Surprise, Surprise: TV Time Linked With Less Sleep For Kids

Posted by Steven Woda

April 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yet another study has been released that indicates the harmful effects of excessively watching television. This article was originally published on the Huffington Post by Amanda L. Chan. 

TV time could be putting a damper on your child's sleep time, according to a new study.

Researchers found an association between increased TV time and less sleep in kids.

"Overall, each additional hour per day of average lifetime TV viewing from infancy through mid-childhood was associated with seven fewer minutes per day of sleep over the same period," the researchers wrote in the Pediatrics study. The effects seemed to be especially pronounced in boys, compared with girls.

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Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing

Is Your Cell Phone Use at Dinnertime Hurting Your Kids?

Posted by Tim Woda

April 27, 2014 at 3:17 PM

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post by Dr. Gregory Jantz.

There's a fascinating study out from the Boston Medical Center in this month's edition of Pediatrics entitled, "Patterns of Mobile Device Use by Caregivers and Children During Meals in Fast Food Restaurants." Researchers went to 15 fast food restaurants in the Boston area and covertly watched caregivers and kids during meal times. The results were interesting, in a car wreck sort of way. Of the 55 caregiver/child(ren) interactions observed, 40 of the 55 involved a mobile device being accessed at some point during the meal by the caregiver; that's around 73%. When a cell phone was used, 40% of the time it was used almost continuously by the caregiver. Mealtimes used to be about face-to-face interactions; apparently, that's not the case anymore. Instead, meal times are becoming face-to-screen interactions, with a few fries mixed in.

When I was growing up, television was both applauded and derided as an electronic babysitter; for many, it still is, although television has been joined by a plethora of other screens. Plop the kid in front of the screen so the adult could do something else. I'll admit to resorting to such a strategy a time or two when my kids were younger. Reading this study, though, it seems like the electronic babysitter has switched. Instead of parking the kid in front of the screen so the adult can do something else, it's the adult parked in front of the screen, and who cares what the kid's doing?

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, addictions

Utah Mom's Facebook Check May Have Saved Son From Shooting Plot

Posted by Tim Woda

April 11, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Viewing your kids' social media interactions can be life-saving. Learn about how a smart mother was able to avert a possible tragedy by tracking her son's Facebook profile. This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by Ed Mazza.

A Utah woman may have saved her son's life by doing the one thing many kids hate the most: Checking him out on Facebook.

When the mother discovered threats to shoot the teen, she contacted police, according to local media reports.

"She had actually read threats and seen the threat on his Facebook page," Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking told the Deseret News. "There were very specific threats that they were going to go the high school and shoot her son."

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, positive parenting practices, dangers & safety, Spying vs Engaging

How to Use Media to Raise Resilient Kids

Posted by Tim Woda

April 9, 2014 at 9:25 PM

This article was originally published on Common Sense Media by blogger Deborah Gilboa.

You've heard of helicopter parenting. But how about those parents who don't only hover -- they're out there in front of their kids clearing every obstacle? I call them "snow blower" or "lawnmower" parents, and although their efforts to protect their kids come from a good place, they're not allowing them to develop the skills they need to recover from setbacks -- to be resilient, in other words.

I'm part of a growing movement of what I call "Resilience Parents." We're doing our best to raise kids who can clear most of their own obstacles -- and get back up when they run full speed into one they didn't see.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, For Parents, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

How Is Technology Affecting Your Family?

Posted by Tim Woda

March 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Read this great article by Jan Cloninger and Rosemary Strembicki from "A place to turn." It was original posted on The Huffington Post.

My son is entering his last year of graduate school. When he was a freshman in college, Facebook was brand new. You could only get an account if you had a college address as a way to connect to others in your classes and campus. 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, online predators, positive parenting practices, kids & technology, internet safety resources, Spying vs Engaging

5 Tips to Protect Your Children from Dangerous Games on Social Media

Posted by Steven Woda

March 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM

This article was written by Tyler Cohen Wood for Manilla.com and orginally posted on the Huffington Post.

As many of us know, social media changes so quickly that it is often hard to keep up. New videos and games pop up constantly and immediately go viral. The latest craze to hit social media is a game called Neknominate.

How the game works is alarming: Typically, a young person drinks a large amount of alcohol (such as half a bottle of vodka) in a bizarre fashion, like half-naked at a mall or mixed with a dead rat, and he posts it to his social network, usually Facebook or YouTube. After he plays the game, he nominates a friend

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Social Trends, Online & Console Gaming, Spying vs Engaging, child app

In Defense Of Texting, My Favorite Parenting Tool

Posted by Tim Woda

February 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM

This article is from the Huffington Post by Senior Columnist Lisa Belkin. Check out how one parent feels towards texting -- and why she loves it for her children so much. 

Yes, I know the dangers. That it affects the brain like an addictive drug. That it shortens our attention spans, and reduces our sleep, increases our stress and keeps us from interacting meaningfully with our kids. I have read all the studies and agree we should all back away from our screens, put down our phones and look each other in the eye when we talk.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, texting rules & safety