This Momo challenge news has BLOWN up today, with messages, comments, questions about its validity – I’ve even seen arguments over this. I feel like we may be missing a bit of the point. Below, my wrap-up on the important takeaways from this. #momochallenge #parenting

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This horrifying Momo challenge has reared its ugly (scary) face yet again. Here’s what you should know and how to talk to your kids about it. #momochallenge #parenting

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YouTube Kids Scare

When I initially saw this article, I was hesitant to post because I hate just posting an alarming problem without an actionable solution. That being said, today was the 5th time someone mentioned this article to me, so I want to share and discuss. Here’s the reality, YouTube (Kids) is no different than any other app or site out there; even the most innocuous spaces can be corrupted by one or two bad players. So since there’s no guaranteed, 100% safe place, then we do what we can. We don’t just let our kids sit in front of YouTube (or any other app/site for that matter) unsupervised. Once our kids put their hands on a tablet or iPod, we should have this really tough conversation with them, and let them know they can come to us if something inappropriate or scary comes up. Personally, I don’t let my kids search anything – but that doesn’t mean one of their friends won’t, or they won’t accidentally stumble upon something on a school device. Awareness, conversations and involvement are the only guarantees we have as parents in any situation (drinking, sex, disturbing unsolicited YouTube videos). As parents, we do what we can to steer our kids away from the bad stuff, which includes conversations about what to do should the bad stuff arise. Take a deep breath, your parenting can trump these things. 💖

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What kids aren’t telling parents about porn on Instagram and Snapchat – The Boston Globe

Porn is all over the internet and everyday, popular apps – and so aren’t our kids. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of REAL young kids accidentally stumbling upon pornography. This Boston Globe article is fantastic and is a must read for ALL parents. I’ve been talking about this a lot lately in presentations, as our kids are being exposed to unhealthy misconceptions around sex and consent – oftentimes far before we’ve had a chance to have “the talk.” I love the suggestions here about how we can handle this as parents, and filters or blocking out certain sites/words won’t do the trick with these savvy kids. The talking-early-and-often approach here is invaluable; as a parent I’d prefer to control the conversation proactively, as opposed to doing damage control after. Great read. #digitalsafety #parenting
“Though parents can install programs on kids’ devices that block pornography, today’s tech-savvy kids know how to get around these (and they can always use their friends’ unblocked phones instead). The reality is that most teenagers will inevitably be exposed to porn — and parents must talk to them about it.”

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More screen time for toddlers is tied to poorer development a few years later, study says

Over the past few years, my presentations to PreK-2nd graders (and their parents) have quadrupled in popularity. The reason why shouldn’t shock you, as our kids are getting their hands on devices younger and younger. A recent study is shedding some light on what this may mean for our toddlers, and the results aren’t positive. This study identified a correlation between increased screen time in toddlers and poorer development. While there are some limitations to this study and its findings, here’s what we do know: Parents can control screen time. Screen time is leading to less sleep and less reading for our kids, both of which aren’t good. We don’t need to entirely ditch tech (although pediatricians recommend kids under 2 should), but being a bit more aware of how much time our little ones have with screens is important. #parenting #tech

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