Blog Archives

Log Out and Live #LOAL

November 23, 2016

LOAL Log Out and Live | MothersCircle.netIntroducing Log Out and Live!
Nick and I have teamed up with my brother and two friends with this movement to work toward finding more balance in our lives between “real life” and “virtual life.”

All around, we’ve been sensing an underlying frustration and angst among parents and families that somehow our lives are too dominated by technology. We find ourselves craving active play, no-screen family time, and person-to-person contact. Don’t get us wrong – we love our gadgets and devices like everyone else, but we feel compelled to build greater connections face-to-face instead of through cyberspace. That’s why we’re launching Log Out and Live.®

Why Log Out and Live?

Our culture has shifted to being plugged-in, wired-up, and logged-on. News and information are not only available constantly, but the amount of content that bombards us by the minute is monumental.

Log Out and Live® is all about breaking that binding tie to our devices and living more in line with what we value: family, human connections, physical activity and time outdoors. Whatever you love to do to stay fit, have fun, and feel happy, do more of it by logging out.

Attachment to social media and our phones has become pervasive, habitual and it can remove us from the things that matter most. Are we living our lives or simply posting about it? Are we making real memories or just sharing almost-memories?

At Log Out and Live, we’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy social media or watching some online videos. We’re not suggesting you give up your devices. We’re focused on regaining a life where we look up and interact with the world in front of us and around us in real time, instead of streaming other lives on a screen.

Here at Log Out and Live, we live what we value – time with family and friends and getting out there and living. Join us in promoting and practicing mindful unplugging.

Instead of living in the glow of blue light and social media feeds, live in the sunshine and see life without looking through the lens of a phone or a filter. Live life unfiltered, live it truly, honestly and fully. Let’s connect in person, send a note or a letter, make a phone call to a long-ago friend.

Unplug for a bit. Do it, take the challenge – Log Out and Live!

Log Out and Live website header | MothersCircle.net

Help Your Kids Prevent Cyberbullying

August 30, 2016

This is a post and accompanying infographic are contributed to Mother’s Circle by several anti-cyberbullying nonprofits to guide parents in helping our children to prevent cyberbullying.

There’s no way to deny that technology is an important part of modern life. Teens check their social media profiles over one hundred times a day. This is a pretty insanely high number, so, as a parent, you may be worried about what exactly they’re doing while they’re busy tweeting, texting, and snapchatting. A very common concern for parents right now is cyberbullying. How can you protect your kids online? Keep reading for a few tips.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is similar to the kind of bullying you grew up with, except that it takes place entirely using electronic technology. Sometimes, this bullying comes as a response to something your teenager posted online or did in person, but other times, it’s entirely random. It’s definitely a sad situation to face, but a little bit of education and preparation can help you prevent it from happening again.

Anomynity

Websites like Ask.fm and YikYak allow teens to share their thoughts openly and anonymously. For some, this can be a bit of a freeing activity, but it can quickly lead to disastrous effects. Having an honest conversation about these apps will help your teen make responsible choices about the internet and better understand your point of view.

Be Supportive

If your teen is have trouble with cyberbullying, don’t lay the blame on them. At this point, it doesn’t do any good to remind them of how they could have prevented the bullying from taking place. Instead, be supportive and accepting of their struggles. When they’re feeling a bit better, you can have a discussion about internet safety going forward.

Set An Example

While you’re worrying about your kids having issues with cyberbullying, so are plenty of other parents. Talk to your children about how to not become cyberbullies themselves. Remind them that everything they put on the internet is permanent, and that they could seriously hurt someone with their words.

Honesty

Honesty is the best policy. Tell your kids that cyberbullying didn’t exist when you were their age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them with it. In order to work with your kids on this issue, they have to trust you. If you pretend to know lots about technology, they’ll quickly lose this trust. Be honest- admit when you don’t know the answer to something, then go and figure it out together. [Honesty is one of the keys to parenting with confidence in the Naked Parenting series.]

Infographic

For younger teens, the infographic below is a great resource to educate them on the risks and benefits of social media use, especially as it relates to cyberbullying.

Online Honesty

August 8, 2016

Online Honesty | MothersCircle.net

Giving Kids Our Full Attention

April 1, 2016

Giving Kids Our Full Attention | MothersCircle.net

Children Must Know They Are Loved

February 19, 2016

Know They Are Loved | MothersCircle.net

Technology and Parenting – 5 Ways to Be Intentional

November 19, 2015

As I prepare to launch my second Naked Parenting book, Naked Parenting: Guiding Kids in a Digital World, I share with you this guest post on technology and parenting.

Guest Post by Hilary Smith

Modern Parenting: The True Impact Of Our Technology

Technology and Parenting | MothersCircle.net

When it comes to technology and parenting, snapping a lot of selfies or spending a lot of time scrolling social media can inadvertently harm our children. We are sending messages to our sons and daughters that they are less important than our devices. Whether it’s intentional or not, our actions often leave children feeling neglected.

This side of technology is important to consider, because our devices have become ingrained in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Technology has the power to enhance our lives in so many ways that if left unbalanced, it can surprisingly have negative influences on our families. There is no doubt technology has a time and place, but parents need to step back and take an in-depth look at how our beloved devices and social media can affect our children.

Technology And Parenting

Our devices can result in a child feeling anxiety or depression. When we focus on work emails or updating posts we involuntarily reinforce the concept that our sons and daughters are not important enough to merit our full attention. There is a direct correlation between parents who overuse their devices and feelings of neglect in children.

Leading psychologist, Catherine Steiner-Adair, noted,

A New Tool For Internet Safety

April 7, 2015

A New Tool For Internet Safety | MothersCircle.netRegular Mother’s Circle readers may know that I’ve recently had you all vote on my next Naked Parenting topic and I’m taking on the one I find the hardest to write – Naked Parenting: Social Media and Technology.

There’s so much to it that it makes a parent’s head explode, doesn’t it? That’s why I’m happy to share a new tool for internet safety.

As parents, we’re still learning, experimenting with different rules and systems, and keeping ourselves educated. It’s a continual process and important to seek tools to support our family values and to keep our kids safe online. I believe in teaching them good skills but while they learn, it’s great to have a safety net.

Keeping Your Child Safe From Cyberbullying

September 1, 2014

Thank you to TeenSafe for this guest post and helpful infographic on Keeping Your Child Safe From Cyberbullying.

Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat. . . Each of these sites can be a great way for teens to build relationships and connect with their peers. Judging by the growing popularity, it doesn’t look like they’ll be disappearing anytime soon. And while social media sites do have their perks, they are also becoming a breeding ground for hurtful comments and humiliating photos.

Cyberbullying has transformed the bullying of years past, where school hallways and playgrounds took the brunt of the problem. Now, children have no place to hide from their tormentors. Bullies find it easy to inflict emotional pain from behind the safety of their computer screens and often believe that their actions will not have any consequences. However, it’s time for parents to step up and gain the knowledge necessary to fight back against this epidemic.

 

Being aware of what your child is doing online is the first step toward ending cyberbullying.

Check out the infographic below, by TeenSafe.com, for tips on how to help your kids online. Knowledge is power, parents. Let’s do what we can – starting today.

Sexting at School

June 10, 2014

sexting at school, book about sexting, girls and sexting, parenting teen girls, advice for parents of teen girlsMy thanks to Benjamin Dancer for this guest post. As a mother of two teens, I am happy to learn and share this information as a means to continue to keep updated and aware. There are so many challenges and things to keep on top of with kids in our high-tech world, it’s important to stay vigilant and educated to best guide and protect our kids.

I love Benjamin’s advice in Sexting at School which is so important to remember: “She needs you to be confident in your role. … Jessica loves you, and she knows that you love her. This is universal: the teenager wants desperately to have her independence, and she is terrified of it. Jessica is not aware of the fact that she is conflicted about this. She’s just a kid. As much as she pushes you away, she wants you to be strong, to love her.”

This is a great, quick read written for parent’s of teen daughters. Download the article-length ebook for free.

SEXTING AT SCHOOL by Benjamin Dancer

I’m a high school counselor, which means I work with parents every day who could use a little grace in their lives. Because I’ve made a career out of my work with adolescents, I see as a matter of course what a parent might be seeing for the first time. This includes a long list of unfortunate life events.

As a parent, I have a lot of empathy for other parents. It’s not easy, especially when you’re going through something for the first time. My life, on the other hand, is a little bit like Groundhog Day. In a sense, I’ve never left high school. Every school year I see the same things. Different kids, but the same behavior: alcohol, drugs, tobacco, bullying, kids running away from home, pregnancy and something newer: sexting.

The Bling Ring And Internet Safety

June 17, 2013

Guest Post by blogger Brian Jones who shares how The Bling Ring and Internet safety relate and how parents can use this film as a teachable moment.

the Bling Ring and Internet safety, The Bling Ring movie, Bling Ring trailer, keeping kids safe online, celebrity obsession, fame obsessed, The film The Bling Ring offers a teachable moment about internet safety. It premiered in selected New York and LA theaters on June 14th opens nationwide this Friday, June 21st. The film is based on the true story of a club-hopping group of teen burglars who helped themselves to the trappings of the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. In fact, the group, nicknamed the Bling Ring, stole more than $3 million in jewelry and clothing from the homes of celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom, including more than $2 million from Paris Hilton alone.

Interestingly, social media sites not only contributed to the Bling Ring crimes by fostering celebrity envy; the fashionable gang of teens actually orchestrated their intrusions in large part by using publicly accessible posts they found on social media sites.

Children and teens have grown up in the age of social media and feel very comfortable using these sites on a regular basis. However, the potential danger of social networking sites is no new story. Crimes committed with the help of social media range from profile hacking to robbery. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips you can share with your kids and use to teach them how to live safely with social media.

5 Instagram Safety Tips for Teens

April 29, 2013

Our daughter, Ali, wrote a guest post about Internet Safety for Teens; to follow up, here she discusses 5 Instagram Safety Tips for Teens. As a non-Instagram user I kind of don’t “get” it but as the Mom of an Instagram user, I’ve needed to at least know how to navigate through it. I’m about to learn all the ins and outs. Hot off the presses, with Ali by my side, I just signed up for my very own Instagram account.

Guest Post by Ali DeCesare

instagram safety tips for teens, internet safety, online safety, online tips, tips for parents on instagram, helping your child on instagram, keeping your child safe online, A lot of the world’s youth has moved away from Facebook to migrate toward Instagram, but don’t be fooled, Instagram can be just as risky to a child as Facebook. Instagram can get…messy. From profanity and inappropriate pictures and comments to cyber bullying and hate mail. I know from first-hand experience how dangerous it can be (see my story at the end), and so I wanted to share some ideas on how to stay safe on Instagram.
Instagram is a free online social networking site that allows you to share daily life and important events through pictures. Pictures can be digitally altered with filters that the Instagram team provides.

Instagram is also an Apple app. Each post/picture is seen by the amount of followers you have. Whether it’s one or one million followers (yes: certain people do have over one million followers. Crazy, isn’t it!) all followers will see what you post.

Internet Safety: A Teen’s Point of View

January 23, 2013

I asked my daughter to write a guest post on internet safety for teens. (Well, okay, it was more of a required lesson after a doozy of a slip up while online. We wanted her to do her own research and learn more about online safety and I wanted her perspective to offer other parents.)
In preparation, she spent time online watching many PSAs and learning internet safety tips, but I was amazed to see that in her writing, she focused more on our actions as parents helping her (even though she doesn’t like them and complains!) and she also reflected on her own behaviors.
In addition, I’ve provided some quality links to help you learn some concrete tips, suggestions, educational tools, online rules and some texting acronyms.
I have a favorite line in here – I’ll share with you at the end – priceless insight into the teen mind!

Guest Post by my favorite teen – Ali DeCesare

online teen safety, teen's talking, communicating with your teen, girls texting, stay safe online, instagram safety, instagram bullying, social media and teens, Internet safety for teens, As a teen, I use a lot of technology in school, for homework, and just in my free time. I’m not as technologically advanced as some kids in my generation, but I do know how to use the Internet, set up a new e-mail address for random things, and signing up for YouTube, Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, or any other social media.

I don’t think teens understand the danger they may be in when they release even the smallest bit of information on the Internet. That one time you put your first and last name in a post, or one picture of your house, with even just the town or state in the description, it could be the one time it would cost you. There are many Public Service Announcements on YouTube and television that support this idea and others to keep teens safe.

I know as a teen myself that I don’t really want my Mom snooping through my iPod or cell phone, and it gets me irritated when she does. However, after an incident on Instagram with me, I realize that without my mom’s snooping, things could’ve gotten out of hand really fast.

I’m sure everyone goes through the stage of always wanting to be right and completely in control of yourself, (or is that just me?) and when my parents go through personal conversations I have with my friends, it makes me want to be in the right and say that they can’t control me. Deep down I do get that it’s their job (that’s what they tell me) but sometimes I really just want to feel independent and not live in a video game while my parents have the controller. So, sometimes I defy them and always get caught.

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