Book: Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman

Growing up social by Gary Chapman & Arlene Pellicane - Children

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World.

How is social media influencing the dynamics within your family?
Do digital devices foster closeness or create distance?

While we may all know the right answer, we acknowledge the immense challenge of resisting the pervasive digital era we live in. In a world that is constantly rushing, it becomes incredibly convenient to momentarily occupy a child with a screen, enabling us to attend to household chores, cooking, and the demands of daily life.

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Instagram’s New Tool to Protect Teenagers


Instagram announced several new features to protect teenagers.

One of the more intriguing changes will be the inability of adults to direct message (DM) teenagers (users under 18 years old) who don’t follow them. If an adult tries to DM a teenager who does not follow them, they will be shown a “You can’t message this account unless they follow you” prompt. Teenagers will be shown safety notices when messaging adults they do not follow.

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Tik Tok Announces new Family Safety Mode for Parents

Tik Tok Logo Family Parent Restriction

TikTok announced a family-safe feature that allows parents to limit their children’s screen time. This would allow parents to set a time limit for video views. Previously parents could only use this time limit on themselves, but now they can do it for their entire family.

The Family Safe Mode also allows the restriction of inappropriate content as well as restrictions on who they can send direct messages to.

This is now available in UK but plans are to roll this out to other countries soon.

Parents rejoice. Children’s cry. But parenting is parenting.

Enough? Not enough? What kind of screen control would be the most ideal?

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Youtube to ban disturbing children videos… finally.

Youtube announced this week that they will no longer allow videos that target children that include certain disturbing content. For years, youtube had been criticized for allowing disturbing content targeting children to be circulated.

The policy notes describe disturbing content as “… that contains mature or violent themes that explicitly targets younger minors and families in the title, description and/or tags will no longer be allowed on the platform…”

You can read more: Youtube bans disturbing kid videos

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Increased youth suicide rates linked to Netflix ’13 Reasons Why’

Study associating youth suicide with Netflix '13 reasons why'
Study associating youth suicide with Netflix ’13 reasons why’ – Image: Beth Dubber/Netflix

Two separate studies were released assessing the monthly suicide rates among various age groups with the release of the Netflix show ’13 Reasons Why’. The popular Netflix show depicted the suicide of its main protagonist which had alarmed mental health experts who were concerned about how this may influence and it’s effect on young viewers. The first study found that the suicide rate among 10 to 17-year-olds boys increased significantly in the month after the release and remained higher for the subsequent 2 months. They found no significant changes in the suicide rates among older age ranges. The second study, conducted by a separate team, came to the same conclusion. In the 3 months after the Netflix show’s release, youth suicide rate for 10 to 19-year-olds rose by 13%. This study was done on both male and female youths.

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Limiting screen time or parenting screen time?

The New Childhood by Jordan ShapiroThe overuse of technology has overtaken drugs, sex and bullying as the biggest parental worry, according to the annual Brigham Young and Deseret News American Family Survey.

So what should we do about it? Should we limit screen time? Take away their phones?

Jordan Shapiro, a Temple University professor’s suggest something different. In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we’re not spending enough screen time with our kids. “One of the things I suggest in the book is that kids should be starting on social media much younger,” he says. And, play more video games with your kids, too.

After Shapiro’s divorce, he found himself solo parenting two little boys (now 11 and 13) who were obsessed with video games. He started playing the games simply as a way to connect with them… He came to realize that part of his job as a parent was to help his children make sense of their online experiences and teach them how to uphold enduring values in the new world they are living in.

Check out the book here:

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Apple’s Screen Time app to help curb screen addiction

Apple Screen Time iPhone Addiction

Apple’s Screen Time to Help iPhone Addiction

At the latest WWDC 2018 Conference, Apple announce a few upcoming iOS 12 apps to help curb our iPhone screen addiction. Screen addiction and it’s negative affects on both children and adults is widely documented. It’s also not as well known that many tech execs including Steve Jobs severely limited their own kids from using their own devices due to it’s addictive effects.

The new Apple Screen Time App will allow you to see how much time you are spending on your iPhone and what you apps you are spending time on. It will also allow parents to limit their children’s use of apps by putting specific time limits for individual apps. For example you can put an hour limit on Facebook or an hour limit on Snapchat or a game app. You can also designate “downtime” where the device will be blocked and can only be used if they request permission. Of course you can do it for yourself as well!

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Teen Cyberbullying on the Internet [Infographic]

The Parents Guide to Bullying

The truth about bullying, how it effects your child, and what you can do to help.

Some sobering statistics from the infographic:

  • 85% of bullying occurs inside of school
  • 82% with learning disabilities have been bullied at school
  • 70% of student say bullying is a problem at their school
  • 44% middle schoolers experience bullying problems
  • 43% of kids have been bullied online
  • 1 in 10 students drop out of school due to repetitive bullying.
  • yet… 80% of bullying acts aren’t reported to parents
  • 43% of kids were bullied while online
  • 35% of kids have been threatened online
  • yet… 58% who experience cyberbullying have not told their parents or an adult

Results in:

  • 14% of high school students have considered suicide
  • … 7% have attempted it


Know the warning signs:

It’s important that we all understand that it’s very possible that bullying could be occurring without our notice. Below are some “warning signs” that are recommended from the infographic. However note that these signs are just potential signs and it’s also important to not assume things or overanalyze behavior that is often just common to teens. One advice is to just be involved in their lives, know what’s going on, what is stressing them, what makes them happy so that communicate stays open.

  • disconnects from people and isolates self
  • physical problems such as headaches and stomachaches
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficult falling/staying asleep or experience frequent nightmares
  • seems listless, unenthusiastic and disinterested in many aspects of life
  • hyper vigilant, extremely nervous, depressed or emotionally explosive

Teen Bullying and Cyberbulling Guide

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How Brands Sell to Teens Online

Girl Teens on Internet


Teenagers and social media are inseparable. Kids will communicate with one another online, all while sitting on the same sofa.

The PBS Frontline documentary film, “Generation Like” (2014) points out that teenagers are often unknowingly taking part in marketing studies and become de facto marketing agents when they “Like” a Facebook page or otherwise share their preferences online. In effect, consumers have become unwitting members of the company sales force. Welcome to the new world of advertising.

Is Social Media Dangerous?

Sure, it’s fun and engaging. Everyone wants to be “liked.” But how much personal data are kids letting dangle in hyperspace? Are there identity protection issues that could have far-reaching effects on a young life? The Federal Trade Commission warns that information stolen from kids can be used to open bank accounts, get credit cards, get a licensed driver, and can cause real damage that can take plenty of headache and money to straighten out.

Content Teenagers Love

Whether you think targeted social media marketing is smart business or sales at its worst, here are four hot areas targeted for social media marketing:

Open Forum Networks: Marketers don’t have to chase after prospects anymore. They are eager to give an unbelievable amount of data for free. Oreo, for instance, posted a photo of a multi-colored cookie, with the caption “Pride,” on its Facebook page and drew massive response. Hundreds of thousands of people Liked the post. Can you imagine how much advertising traction a mailing list of people who support liberal issues could get and what it would be worth?

Video Sites: YouTube, the Google-owned hangout where anyone can post a video about virtually anything, is the second largest search engine on the planet, notes Social Media Today. It is also a place where teens love to congregate. That is why Kohl’s is launching an effort to reach teenage girls via YouTube. The department store planned avenues to reach the teens are the YouTube channels of Amanda Steele, whose teen issues videos get hundreds of thousands of views each, and Lisa Marie Johnson. Lisa’s Baby Food Challenge video boasts 1.3 million views. The plan: The girls will help promote a new line of clothing. S.o. R.a.d.

Memes: Pair a photo with a memorable saying. If it takes off, you’ve created a meme. “A First World Problem,” for instance, is an issue much of the world doesn’t have the luxury to experience. The Gift of Water video that pushed the meme mainstream has currently chalked up about 6.4 million views. The film begins with a poor African child saying, “I hate it when my phone charger won’t reach my bed.” Who could make money off a list of people who care about Third World issues? Go to’s First World Problem page, and you will likely be greeted by an advertising message targeting people with compassion. Dos Equis, by the way, parlayed its “Most Interesting Man in the World” meme into a quick sales increase of over 26 percent, reports Fast Company.

Photographs: Instagram and Pinterest are prime territory for marketers. Our fast-moving society prefers a picture and a few words. Marketers have found that those who have graduated from written posts to photos are typically more experienced and influential than other social media users. It’s a goldmine! Consequently, advertising dollars are moving in that direction. According to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report, 42 percent of marketers said they planned to increase their spend on Instagram.

Better be a Believer

Whether you are a worried parent, a concerned teen, or a take-it-to-the-bank marketer — it is important to admit something Fortune 500 sales trainer Debbie White points out to her clients constantly: Everything is ABOUT sales, and Everybody is IN sales.

That’s just the way it is in our online, connected world.

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How Our Kids Perceive Beauty In The Modern World

Beauty Perception of Children

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if your young daughter is the beholder and she’s being manipulated by clever, yet misleading, advertisements to form her perception? Until recently, almost all popular fashion and beauty billboards have painted long, lean and skinny women who are accessorized by expensive clothes and handbags as the beauty norm. But thanks to the beauty industry’s evolving agenda and big brands backing the efforts (the real life portrayals of young women in the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty is one example) today’s modern girl is beginning to feel more confident embracing her version of beauty and style. Young minds will likely be tempted by how media outlets present beauty, but below are a few tips to help your daughter feel happy in her own skin when she’s struggling most.

1. Experiencing big body changes

Puberty is a whole mess of changes and hormones. While we can hopefully chuckle at those days, for your daughter, the experience is happening now and is a very real weight on her self-esteem. If your daughter is feeling conscientious about the changes she’s going through—maybe all of her friends are taller and developing faster or maybe she’s breaking out and can’t wear makeup yet. This is a great time to help her bust through the one-size-fits-all approach to beauty. You can’t tell her enough how bright her eyes sparkle or how amazing her hair is; research shows that positive encouragement from parents positively influences children’s self-perceptions.

2. Glasses are in, but contacts boost self-esteem in teens

Most teenagers who experience eyesight issues are psyched that glasses are in style, and could spend hours online finding their favorite styles. Some kids still feel self-conscious wearing eyeglasses though, and might find a big self-esteem boost when allowed to choose contact lenses, according to optometrist researcher, Jeffrey J. Walline, from Ohio State University’s College of Optometry. By the end of his study, he found that kids wearing contact lenses were more confident about their appearance and athletic performances. Your optometrist will help your daughter find the perfect pair of contact lenses for her needs. If you’re a busy parent, order her contact lens prescription online. Internet retailers like Vision Direct even have auto-reorder features that make keeping fresh contacts on hand effortless. When they arrive, help her practice putting them in so she feels comfortable and confident.

3. Weighing in

In the past, everyone wanted to diet and lose weight to become the ultra-skinny envy of their friends and family. Unfortunately, body image experts say the “thin ideal” is still in. With today’s pressure, the new beautiful is to still be thin, but also super fit. Let’s face it, no matter how much some of us work out, the bone structure we were born with is not going to budge and that tiny waist/curvy butt combo is fought down by genetics. If your daughter struggles with her perception of weight—whether she thinks she is over or underweight—assure her that regular exercise makes her beautiful because she’s engaging in a life-long healthy activity. Encourage her to find fitness she actually enjoys doing though.

Show her how powerful the media is by showing her pictures of what beautiful was in the ’60s and ’70s. She’ll be surprised when you show her people once thought a woman holding a cigarette was “beautiful” because that’s what popular media convinced them to believe. Unhealthy habits can often be glamorized, and just helping create awareness will help your daughter begin raising her own questions about what beauty really is to her.

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Covenant Eyes Introduces Family Pricing

Covenant Eyes Internet AccountabilityCovenant Eyes Introduced Family Pricing

Covenant Eyes introduced a big pricing change this week that can save families quite a bit of money. Families can now pay a flat rate of $12.99 which comes with unlimited Covenant Eyes usernames for each of their family members and those they deem appropriate. This is great for those with several children they want to protect (or for families who were trying to save money by sharing usernames!). You can also add filtering to any username at no additional costs.

What is Covenant Eyes?

Covenant Eyes is an excellent internet accountability and filtering solution for any family. Great for both monitoring your children as well as keeping even the adults accountable to what they visit on the always precarious internet and for how long. How does it work? Simple. You install a small program that helps monitor your internet use. You pick your accountability friend(s) (or if you are a parent, you pick yourself on your children’s accounts). Then if you or your children happen to visit a questionable site, it will let the friend you chose know via email. Having that extra layer of protection can be invaluable for many. It is also a great way to curb the dangers of the internet for your children. You can also filter bad sites or if you choose, choose times your children will not be able to access the internet (think past midnight).

For a more extensive review, read our article: Covenant Eyes Internet Protection

Covenant Eyes: Highly Recommended

If you are concerned about your children’s internet use and what they may be exposed to on the internet, I highly recommend you try out this solution.

Check out these sobering stats:

  • Americans spend over 20hrs a week surfing the net.
  • Teens spend over 31hrs per week online
  • The average age of a child’s first internet exposure to pornography is 11yrs old
  • Largest consumers of internet pornography are ages 12-17
  • Over 50% of teens, 30% of children surf without supervision

If you want more information about Covenant Eyes or want to try it for one month FREE, following this link: Covenant Eyes 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

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