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Digital Parenting Resources

To help parents manage their kids and technology.

Flaws of Apple iOS 12 Screen Time Parents Need To Know

With the release of Apple iOS 12 Screen Time features, parents rejoiced!! Now there was a built-in way for them to monitor, track and restrict their children’s screen time on their devices. Despite the entire rave and praise, it is still Apple’s first live launch, which means bugs exist. I put it to the test in the beta version and found a few flaws that still exist that I want every parent to be aware of.

How Time Is Measured

Apple iOS 12 Screen Time is tracked for the amount of time. It doesn’t matter if the app or device is in use or not. It will turn off after the set minutes expire. Even if the app is still “running” in the background (you don’t swipe up and turn it off) it’s still tracking your time.

Restricting App Access

Apple iOS 12 Screen Time features restricting app use to speicifc predetermined App Groupings. App Groupings are great for those who have multiple apps that fit in one sphere they want to limit. However, for limiting...

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Why Doesn’t My Parental Control App Work On Apple Devices Anymore?

Over the past year I have had lots of clients and parents asking the same question: Why isn’t __________ working on Apple anymore? Why can’t I see _______? It’s a question that is vexing parents and leaving them feeling defenseless against being able to monitor their children the way THEY want to. It’s even more frustrating for parents when they’ve paid a subscription and cannot get the support or refund they so desperately want. Why isn't your Parental Control App working anymore?

Apple Security

The main reason these apps like OurPact, ScreenTime, Spyzie, mSpy, and others are experiencing issues is because of Apple’s Privacy and Security Settings. Apple is one of the few developers that want to keep their software development under wraps. They don’t want the security and legal risks associated with some of these apps continuing. So they’re limiting it, creating red tape, and protecting their company from the dangers you and...

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#Savethekids Why Every Parent Needs To Go

Uncategorized Sep 18, 2018

I recently participated in an event #savethekids in Boise, Idaho with Social Media Crusader Collin Kartchner and Educational Technology Advocate and Coach Katey McPherson. The event was put on by several moms from Boise Idaho, and organized by Monica Tanner of On The Brighter Side of Things. I want to share what I took away from this unique opportunity.

What is #savethekids?

#savethekids was not at all what I expected. I'm a natural critic by nature and honestly I wasn't sure what all the hype was about behind Collin. It was far better than I could have anticipated. Collin focused on showing parents what their kids are missing and what the stats say that parents are overlooking. Katey focused on showing parents what they can do to get started in protecting their children in school and being good villagers to each other and our community. I loved how #savethekids focuses on helping parents, educators and leaders be informed on what our kids with smart phones  are...

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How To Talk Tech For Play Dates

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2018

I know that it can be very scary to let your kids play at another parent’s home—especially with technology. Play dates with technology don’t have to be that scary though!! They’re not only amazing for child development, they can also give you a much needed break. Still, you want to be prepared for what your child will be allowed to do at someone else's house. These are a few tech questions I ask parents before I let my kids go over for a play date:

Technology is so amazing isn’t it? What devices do you have in your home?

This is a perfect opening question because it is inquisitive concerning your child. It let’s you know all the tech devices your child may have access to in their home. It also shows you what they use most. It is usually the first few devices they list.

Do your kids have their own devices?

This is a follow up question to the previous one. As a parent, it’s important for you to know if your child will have access to any device...

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5 Tech Security Practices Kids Should Learn In School

The tech they’re teaching kids, the skills like blogging and coding, and of course the real life skills they will need to land future jobs is pretty incredible. These skills are so important, but I want to make sure schools and parents aren't forgetting one crucial item. Schools need to consider the tech security kids should be learning to apply. It's not enough to know how to use school technology appropriately, but also what school technology security practices kids should know to keep themselves and the network safe.

Troubleshooting

Kids should be learning in school not only how to recognize when there’s a problem on a device, but also how to inform the IT Maintenance person what the exact problem is. It’s a difference of “My computer won’t connect to the WiFi” vs. “The Wireless Networking card in the computer seems to be malfunctioning because I can connect to the WiFi via Ethernet but not wirelessly.” It also helps...

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7 Tech Skills Kids Should Develop

It’s an amazing thing in schools today to see kids actually using technology to make simple tasks like writing a research paper so much faster!! It also creates a problem for parents wanting to know what skills their kids actually need for school. By the time your kids are in 10th Grade, they should be developing all of these tech skills. Keep in mind, your kids should be learning the majority of these things in school programs, and parents can learn them at home to help their kids out.

Typing & Using The Desktop

Yes, kids need to be learning how to type. It’s an essential skill that will put them ahead of the rest of the world—especially if they can type 60 wpm (words per minute) or more. It makes them a more valuable asset to companies looking to hire and can help put them above the rest of their co-workers.

It’s also a big practice if kids can use the desktop platforms today. Most kids don’t begin to use computers outside of school until about 3...

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The Effective Way Parents Can Teach Kids To Recognize Risky Content

One of the main things I am concerned individuals are overlooking when exploring technology is knowing what to do when you find questionable content or worse. Since I don’t feel like anything else out there is teaching individuals–as well as children–all the steps I feel they should take, I came up with my own acronym to help individuals remember what to do in such situations.

It’s a simple phrase that I believe accurately describes what we want the questionable things in our lives to do: DEPART.

D-Discern what is happening 

D is for the phrase “Discern what is happening”. It is important for individuals to recognize what is happening so they can take the proper course of action.

E-Escape It

E is for the phrase “Escape it”. Once we understand what is happening it’s important to know whether we should fight back, like when we find a virus that’s deleting our information, or run away from it, like when we come across...

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The New Talks We Must Have With Our Kids Before The School Year Starts

In today’s Digital Age, kids are exposed to an enormous amount of things before they reach the age of 12. In fact, many of the average ages of exposure to inappropriate materials have become younger in the past 10 years. This is why parents should begin talking to their kids 5 years before they suspect their kids will be exposed things of a questionable nature. I know these 3 topics to discuss with our kids before starting elementary school will help us both feel better prepared to handle the depths of technology together.

  1. Pornography

The first conversation we should have with our kids before school starts is identifying pornography.The average age a child is exposed to pornography is between 8-12 (varies depending on the credible source), however I have seen children as young as 3 and 4 years old be exposed to hard-core pornography.

So how do you approach your 5 year old about pornography? Start small. Talk about how our body is sacred and special and no...

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Parents Don't See The Risks Your Kid's Flip Phones Have Expert Says

I’ve seen a huge movement and change in the scene of cellphones and kids coming about. I am super supportive of the No Smart Phone Movement. I’m also concerned that parents, educators, and Tech Safety Advocates may be overlooking some of the dangers that come with owning a flip phone.

Social Hacks

The most common hack that parents with flip-phones may not be fully aware of is how easy and readily accessible it is for children to gain access to another method of what they want. Individuals have easy access to the content you’re seeking to block through social engineering hacks. Examples of these are:

  1. Another person’s phone
  2. A publicly accessible device
  3. Obtaining a “Free Phone” of their own (yes your kids can get free smart phones without your knowledge or consent & you legally have no rights to access anything on it)
  4. Having you grant permission to add on things that are not appropriate

Phone Banging/Batphone

Parents should be aware of is phone...

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The Common Things Parents Don't Discuss Before Handing Kids Phones

One of the most impactful questions I help answer for parents is: When should I get my child a smart phone? I always follow this with my own question: Why do you need them to have a smart phone?

Then they start listing off their reasons; which sound very similar to a child’s requests:

  1. I need to know where they’re at in case something bad happens. You know the world we live in today has some scary things going on.
  2. If they learn how to use this technology now, they’ll get a fabulous career in computers later on.
  3. I want to be able to talk/track to my kid whenever I want to.
  4. All their friends have one and I don’t want them to get bullied.
  5. I’m afraid they’ll get left out if they don’t have one.
  6. I want them to be smart and know this tech stuff better than I do.
  7. They need to learn how to use this tech stuff now because it’s only going to be more integrated in their lives.
  8. I want to keep better tabs on my kid because I don’t trust them....
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