VIDEO: Social Media and Kids - Top Tips For Parents

by Samantha on January 19, 2014

How to Keep Your Child Safe Online


Social Media and Kids - Tips For Parents

I recently wrote about the growing trend surrounding kids using social media. In Social Media and Kids - The Top 5 Things That Parents Need to Know, I provided some simple advice for parents who are looking for practical tips regarding their children’s engagement on social media channels. With the growing popularity of teens and tweens using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it’s impossible for parents not to have concerns about how their children are spending their time online. Instances of cyberbullying with serious and sometimes tragic effects make all of us parents realize that we must be more diligent in knowing what our children are doing online, and managing their behaviour.

Following the original post, I did a radio interview on the topic and a segment on Rogers Daytime Toronto to discuss social media and kids in more detail as well. See below for the full interview.

VIDEO: Social Media and Kids - What Parents Need To Know

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Meltdown in Aisle 5: Top Parenting Tips From Multiple Mayhem Mamma



Social media and kids. Two topics that evoke lots of emotions, particularly for parents. Following my article Social Media and Kids: What Parents Need To Know I was invited to be interviewed on CKNW AM 980 to talk about some of the issues and my suggestions for parents. It was a great discussion and I covered some of the key points outlined in the article. You can listen to the full interview below.


Protecting Your Child on Social Media - CKNW Newstalk 980 Interview

What do you think? What other things can parents do to protect their kids who may be on social media? Leave me your answers in the comments below.

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Lane Bryant

snooping on kids
How do you feel about snooping? You know - going through your kids’ stuff, reading their diaries (if they’re older) or checking their online footprint? Is it a parent’s right to snoop on their kids?

As our children enter their tweens, this topic becomes particularly pressing, especially these days. Kids are doing and saying things that make many of us uncomfortable, to say the least. And as we continue to address the very real concerns about parenting in the digital age, we realize that it’s not just the older kids that we have to worry about. How many of us hand our kids our smartphones, tablets or laptops in order to distract or entertain them when we need a few minutes to do something else? Our children have online access and as a result, they’re interacting with others, often without our knowledge. Add to this the growing problem of cyberbullying and its repercussions and we have a very real issue that we can’t ignore.

As parents, we have a responsibility to know what our kids are doing and to protect them from harm. To this end, there are those who say that snooping is part of the game. Others disagree, saying that we should trust our kids as well as give them their privacy. True; children do need to be trusted and their privacy does need to be respected. But to what end? That’s the crux of the issue.

Today’s Monday Musings asks the question “Is it ever okay to snoop on your kids?” The answer will surely be divided and many of us are still trying to figure things out.

Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below and let’s discuss.

VIDEO - Is it Ever Okay to Snoop On Your Kids?

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We can’t live without it.

Technology is here to stay.

We love our iPads, iPhones, Android and other tablet devices. Texting is part of our everyday lives. We crave the Internet and feel disconnected whenever we’re away from the comfort of our virtual world. It’s clear that technology is here to stay and digital technology specifically is part and parcel of most of our lives, in one way or another.

This is particularly the case in the lives of our children. Kids today are so comfortable and so entrenched in the digital world that it’s hard for them to imagine a life without the technology that they’ve come to know and love. Between video and online games for younger kids to texting, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for older kids (often to the chagrin of their parents), there’s no way around it.

Tech is where it’s at. Imagine a world without Google. Mention this concept to a tween or teen and watch their eyes bug out in horror. Try telling your six-year-old that they’re cut off from using your iPad and you may experience a meltdown of monumental proportions.

The fact is that technology has permeated our kids lives in such a way that the thought of living without it is almost impossible to fathom.

But to what end?

As much as we love our gadgets and the Internet, one has to question the effect that both have had on our kids. While there’s no disputing the fact that digital technology has advanced our culture in so many ways, one has to wonder about its negative effects as well. Our kids accept technology as part of life, but as with everything, there are good and bad aspects to be considered.

For the many positive stories that exist about how technology has affected the lives of our kids, there are, unfortunately, an equal amount of stories about the dark side of the technological age. Our kids are being affected; it’s how they’re being affected that we need to consider.

So my question today is this: Has technology affected our kids for better or for worse? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Technology in the classroom is here. Are you ready?

Can there really be “too much of a good thing?”

Apparently there can be, according to the educators in South Korea.

A recent Wall Street Journal article shed light on the country’s decision to cut back on the amount of in-class digital technology exposure that the students would receive. Originally, the South Koreans had proposed a mandate that would see all classrooms in the country completely digitized by 2015. While this plan may have started out well, the resulting effects on children who were under this educational regime appeared to be less positive than originally expected. Perhaps not surprisingly, the kids started to rely on the technology a bit too much, at least more than what was anticipated.

The resulting decision to cut back was based on the students’ (ironically) increasing reliance upon technology as well as the concern that the decrease in the use of physical objects such as textbooks would have an adverse effect on the children. Apparently, kids in this part of the world were becoming considerably addicted to the internet as well as their plethora of technology gadgets that were part of their day-to-day existence. For this reason, educators and others saw the need to cut back on the in-class digital tools.

If you think that the South Korean experiment with technology is not something that needs to be worried about because of the country’s distance to North America, think again. Florida has implemented a similar policy to the Asian country’s decision with a mandate that all paper-based textbooks be eliminated by 2015, at which time learning in schools would be completely technologically-based. It’s probably safe to say that Floridians are not the only educators with this in mind.

Technology in the classroom is here to stay, there is no doubt about this fact.

What now becomes the question is whether or not its presence is a good thing, and if so, to what degree?

Full disclosure: for the record, I support the use of technology in schools, as I believe that the advances in this area provide so much more opportunities to children than were previously available, even as recently as ten years ago. That being said, there is a fine line that exists between what is useful in the process of learning, and what is excessive and, in some instances, downright damaging.

Some areas that need to be considered when making the decision about the scale and amount of technology in classrooms include the following:

  • Access  - There must be an equal opportunity for access, both inside the classroom and out, in order for all children to get a fair shot at learning through specific technologies. For example, those with access to computers, the Internet, tablets such as iPads and similar tools will have more of an advantage regarding their home-time interaction via such technology than those children that do not have the same opportunities for learning
  • Special Needs - There needs to be a specific curriculum that is medically and scientifically proven and tested to support and facilitate learning and education for children with special needs
  • Degree - How much technology will be used and how often? Is there a consensus about the amount of learning that is done via tools such as iPads and otherwise, and how will this type of learning be integrated with more traditional learning tools, if at all?
  • Bricks and Mortar - Building on the above point, how do we feel about the idea that physical books and conventional learning tools are going the way of the Dodo? Are we ready to concede that the new educational and learning models don’t necessarily include physical textbooks, reading books, pencils or paper?
  • Cost - Depending on the particular school board, there exists the problem of unequal access to specific tools, which presents a number of issues and potential problems when determining who gets what. As well, the new model needs to be intensely reviewed to assure that a two-tiered system of  “haves” and “have nots” will not result in this new reality

The world has dramatically changed in the digital age and classrooms are just one area where the line has been drawn in the sand. This is particularly the case when one looks at the reactions and expectations of parents regarding both the curriculum that is being taught to their children, as well as the particular tools that are used to teach. In some schools, the idea of “BYOD” - Bring Your Own Device - is in full swing, to mixed reactions. As noted above, there exists the issue of accessibility and affordability for all students, but there also exists the ongoing concern about whether this type of learning is indeed a valid support to a child’s progress, as well as whether or not the conventional route of textbooks should be completely supplanted by digital technology.

So the lines have been drawn in the sand and the battle continues: the old guard that wants to protect the tried and true conventions that have delivered some of the most brilliant intellectual minds of yesteryear and today vs. those who believe that progress is best achieved using a “sure thing” - in this case, a textbook and/or otherwise. Ironically, one of the greatest minds of our time, Albert Einstein, was an outspoken opponent of technology. One of his most famous quotes illustrates exactly where he stood about the subject:
“Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.

It’s crystal clear upon which side of the fence this genius stood.

What side are you on?

Coming up next: Parenting in the Digital Age: Technology in the Classroom - Part 2

Previous Post: Parenting in the Digital Age: The Medium is the Message


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The Top 7 Ways That Digital Technology Has Affected Our Kids – The Good and the Bad

January 26, 2012

There’s no doubt that the digital age is here to stay. Not only are we enamored with the ability to send and receive information in a digital format, but our children are equally smitten. Sometimes, too much so, as I hear more and more parents bemoaning the fact that they’re not able to retrieve their […]

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