Tag Archives: parenting

Do you know what your kid is posting on Facebook?

Recently a kid named Hannah blocked her parents from her facebook page and then proceeded to post a rant on her page about having to do chores around the house. Of course, her dad saw that rant and made a video response to his daughter.

There has been a huge response from parents everywhere and many of the Wired Moms sent messages to make sure I saw the video too.

There are a number of things going on here.

1. It’s important to have natural consequences for bad behavior – when a child brings home a bad grade the natural consequence would be to impose more study time at home not necessarily to take away their iPod. Removing an iPod does not help your kid get a better grade. This video seems to be a demonstration of natural consequences (even though it is a little extreme ).

2. Technology is a privilege not a right.

3. It is important for parents to be involved with their kids online life. If you have a child over the age of 13 (even though many kids under 13 also get pages) there is a very high likelihood that they have facebook page, a tumblr, a twitter and possibly other pages like MySpace. First of all talk with your kid but then also Google them.

Watch the video and then let us know what you think.

PS Many people have said that the Dad should have just sold the laptop to recoop his software expenses. But after watching the video with my kids they all agreed that this guy could still sell the laptop as is on Ebay and get way more for it than he spent on the software. This laptop is now Legendary.

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Filed under facebook, Internet Safety, wiredmoms

What to do about texting and driving

The numbers are in and they aren’t good. People are still texting and driving. More men than women are texting according to a recent report but the overall number is still too high. In a split second tragedy can happen and it is just not worth it.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

The important thing for us to remember is that our kids are watching us to set the example. Some studies show that kids’ driving records can be directly correlated with their parents driving records. This is really interesting because it definitely shows us that it doesn’t matter so much what we tell our kids as it does what we show them.

If you must talk on your phone while your driving – which is still not optimal either – use a handsfree device.

My favorite bluetooth of the year is by far the LG Tone Wireless Bluetooth

It is super easy to connect with your phone and even easier to use. The great thing is that it doesn’t sit in your ear but instead hangs around your neck like a wonderful fashion accessory. When your phone rings the device vibrates just a bit which is wonderful. The ear buds sit in either end of the device and you only put them in your ear when you are actually making a call. The comfort level on this is super high. The voice dial feature is very easy to use. I got one for my husband who had only briefly used a blue tooth once before and did not have a good impression of using a blue tooth device. He is loving the LG Tone.

This is possibly my favorite tech gadget of the year. It still doesn’t solve the problem of people texting and driving. We still have to work on that.

(The only thing is you still have to watch yourself when talking on your phone while using this bluetooth in a public place. People will think you are a crazy person talking to yourself. People are getting used to looking for a blue tooth gadget resting in a persons ear when they see someone talking to themselves in the store – but they are not used to seeing the bluetooth hang around your neck.)

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Join the discussion:  “Like” the Distracted Driving Safety Alliance on Facebook and let us know about your experiences with other people texting and driving. ( a Facebook Like button can be found on the right hand side of this page).

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Filed under Distracted Driving, Mobile, Texting, Travel, wiredmoms

Keep your laptops off your lap

By Mary Heston

Last week an article was published on Reuters titled, “Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm, but caveats abound”. The caveats in this article are provided by Dr. Oates, the president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, who told Reuters Health he doesn’t believe laptops are a significant threat to male reproductive health. It is understandable that he doesn’t want parents to be concerned without real evidence and I can fully appreciate this.

At the same time they quoted him as saying that he was able to father two children even though he owns a laptop and an iPad. The point here is that laptops and iPads have not really become popular for in-home use until just recently. Parents today did not grow up having access to these tools until they were heading off to college.

The problem is not even so much the laptop, or the Wi-Fi, as much as it appears to be the heat that is given off by these devices. This heat, being directed right on our young boys mid section, may affect their sperm. The research is not fully conclusive yet and more research needs to be done. The research done in Argentina seems to be a good starting point.

We could, with some certainty, say that if our children would abstain from using laptops until they were in college, like most of us did, then there would probably be no concern about their reproductive abilities. But since our kids are using iPads and laptops as early as 3 years old now, there is reason enough to at least think about what that direct heat may be doing to our little boys.

If your little guy is going to use a laptop or iPad or other heat producing tech gadget it may be good to consider the following precautions:

1.      Get them in the habit of sitting at a desk when using a laptop (even though the name of the devise is laptop)

2.      Have them develop the habit of not placing these gadgets right on their laps

3.      Monitor their time spent on their laptop

4.      If they do want to sit with their laptop on their lap consider getting them a laptop chiller or some other device to keep the heat off of their body

5.      Ensure that they are eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and getting in regular exercise every day

Eating a healthy diet is the one thing that we do know for sure will positively benefit both our sons and daughters. But until the evidence is clear, I will be making sure that my sons keep their laptops off their laps.

This article was also published on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act blog

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Cell Phones, Radio Waves, and our Children’s Brains

Kids today seem to be born with an innate sense of how to use a smart phone and text. You have seen a very small child holding their moms cell phone and playing some game while Mom sits there and has coffee with a friend. Lately, there have been more discussions about whether or not cell phones are safe for our children to use primarily because we don’t know what the waves that connect our cell phones to each other are doing to our children’s developing brains.

My four children all have cell phones. But as I was telling another mom who was concerned about her teenager using a cell phone, I’m not entirely convinced my kids know there is a phone on their cell phone. They use these devices to text, play video games, record video and upload it to the internet, take still pictures and tune their guitar (yes there’s an app for that).

Kids don’t spend as much time with their cell phones held up to their ear. Even still there are things we can do to ensure their cell phone use is as safe as possible.

Recommendations

1)Do not give them a smart phone under the age of 13.

Know your own kid – some kids are ready for the responsibility of a phone earlier than other kids. One gauge our family used was the way they were able to take care of their own bedroom. When they could keep their own room clean then we knew they were ready to take on more responsibility.

If you really want to give your younger kid a phone consider one with limited functions. Look for a phone that only calls Mom, Dad, and an emergency number. The point is that you want to be able to get ahold of them and you want them to be able to call you. That is all that is needed.

2)Encourage Texting

3)Use a headset

4)Set up a docking station in a central room of your house where everyone always charges their cell phones and have your child / teen plug their phone in at night.

Do not let them sleep with their phone.

Do not let them use the “my battery died” excuse for not calling home when they are going to be late.

5)Set limits. Have your kids involved in this conversation and let them know what your concerns might be. Revisit these limits yearly – as your children grow and mature their phone privileges should too.

6)Be a good role model for your kids.

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Filed under Apps, Mobile, Texting

What to do about Violent Video Games?

Today marks the release of the 3rd game in the Gears of War series. Even though it has only been out one day it is alreay #1 on the best sellers list. Do you have a gamer under the age of 17? If you are concerned about violence in video games check out what our own Mary Heston has to say about this recent release. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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facebook facebook facebook

– by Mary Heston

For some of us a bit older we remember Jan’s mantra from the Brady Bunch “Marsha Marsha Marsha” everybody’s always talking about Marsha.

This last week it was facebook.  Everywhere you turn the talk is about facebook.

California wants to make a law about parental access to children’s facebook accounts
(editorial comment: this is ridiculous)

Then we learn there are over 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 on facebook

A 13 year old in Tacoma WA is questioned by the Secret Service about a status update

AND Police suggest Stealing your kids Facebook passwords

I happen to think the world is just possibly losing its collective mind!  This is ludicrous.  First of all we need to start handing parents a couple of cojones when it comes to technology and having them start parenting their child in their kids digital world as well as the physical world (barely any distinction for our kids any more).  

Parents: 

    •  Be Strong. 
    • Keep your kids off of facebook until they are 13.  That is the facebook terms of service and the guideline is there for a reason.  There are alternatives out there.  Be proactive and help your kids use the Internet appropriately.
    • As long as they are living in your house and are under the age of 18 – they share their password with you and only you. 
    • Help guide them in their social networking.  Work through it together. 
    • Don’t keep them from social networking sites – this is their world now – help them embrace it.  If you forbid them from having a site that will be all the more enticement for them to go out and create their own site without your input or information.

 


You don’t hand your child the keys to the car until they have taken driver’s ed.  Social Networking can bean even more powerful tool – make sure they get the training before they go out on the roads by themselves at 1am in the morning.  A good way to do this is to get them involved in theTeenangel program 

If you are still worried after they have set up their site there is a new product that was just released this week that you may want to check out.  Visit MinorMonitor to find out more about ways to receive alerts about your childs online presence.

My daughter has been on Twitter for a year and a half and has at times complained about the fact that none of her other young friends in real life are on Twitter.  But she told me recently that alot of kids she knows are now getting on Twitter because their parents got on them about their facebook accounts.  She said she was sort of amazed how many parents don’t even know their kids are on these various sites and that if the parents do find out about them and tell the kids to close it down the kid just goes to a different platform with a different name.  

We need to have a more open and honest conversation with our kids about their life online.  In the 90’s we heard about the helicopter parents that absoultely hovered over their kids’ every move.  Perhaps the second decade of the millenium parents will become known as the Ostrich parents.  Time for us to get our heads out of the sand and take a look around.  Our kids ARE online.  Let’s join them!

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Filed under Distracted Driving, facebook, Internet Safety, Mobile, Social Networking, Twitter, wiredmoms

What Is Your #Distracted Driving Grade?

I reach for my cell phone when at a long red light. Checking to see if any new emails came in since I last checked… 10 minutes earlier.

My daughter calls everyday at 3:20 PM, should I ride the bus today, she wants to know. If I don’t answer she panics a little bit. Some days I’m in the car driving home from groceries or carpool for the younger kids at her ‘call time’.

I line up a ‘work’ call for mid morning. But due to traffic or a late gym class I’m still driving home when I’m supposed to be initiating a long distance call.

These are all situations I’ve been failing the grade at in the last two weeks. I gave myself a D-. #DistractedDriving? Yeah, that would be me.

I’ve spent the past week working to bring my disgraceful grade up. I bury my phone in my purse. I hand it to my younger daughter when it rings during the 3:20 tween panic time. And best of all.. I savor quiet time in the momvan, while running errands alone! I even gave myself extra credit points when a call came in from a fellow #DistractedDriving challenge pal and I waited and called her back when I could pull over.

After taking the @WiredMom 7 day challenge I’m proud to share I now give myself an A-. I’d give myself a sold A if I could just stop yearning at my purse when I see the stop light turn red.

What #DistractedDriving grade do you give yourself?

goodncrazyCarissa Rogers in a former life was a molecular biologist. In her current life she is the chief researcher of parenting dos (and some don’ts), new recipes, and for spice pretends to be a photographer…a mom of all trades. She blogs at GoodNCrazy.com, and writes for various online magazines. She has three good kids and one crazy husband. Find her on Twitter: @CarissaRogers

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