11 Tips to Guide Your Teen's Social Media Experience

Before introducing your teen to social media, give them a solid foundation with Pinwheel, the phone that grows with your child. Pinwheel lets parents monitor and guide their child’s digital interactions, and allows for a gradual introduction to texting, screen time limits, and gaming. In other words, it lets your child master the basics without exposure to the harms of social media.

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My Middle School Kid Wants Social Media

These days, it's hard for parents to avoid social media. You probably use it, your friends use it, and chances are your kids use it too. More and more young children are joining social media platforms, even though the US Surgeon General warned that it may harm mental health. 

If your teen is ready to sign up for their first social media platform, there are some simple ways to keep them safe online. According to psychologists, the key is education and awareness. But before diving into that, run through this list to make sure your child is ready.

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First Kid-Safe, Parent-Monitored AI Chat Bot Powered by ChatGPT

Free app from maker of the popular Pinwheel kid-safe smartphone generates age-appropriate responses and enables parents to monitor chats 


Pinwheel, maker of the best-selling Pinwheel smartphone for kids, announced today the launch of PinwheelGPT, the first child-safe AI chat app powered by ChatGPT that enables parental monitoring. The new, free PinwheelGPT app will be available on any device (including Pinwheel phones) through a mobile app, or via a mobile or desktop web browser.

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Discord’s New Safety Tools

Imagine that your local local movie theatre showed everything from the latest Pixar hit to film pornography. A single ticket allows anyone--even children---to enter the front doors and then choose a theater room. Which one shows porn? That's not clear until the movie starts, but somebody is handing out candy for entering theater 9.

Discord is like that. Some servers are well-supervised and kid-friendly, and kids can even join private servers with only their friends. Some are full of the darkest extremes of humanity, and they all look alike from the outside. Many kids join Discord to talk to an approved group, which is no more risky than any other group chat.

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Irish Town Bans Smartphones for Youngsters

A small town in Ireland banded together to say "no" to smartphones for young kids. It started with the primary schools in Gresytones, and now parents are embracing the benefits of combatting peer pressure and protecting children from the potential negative effects of smartphones, like anxiety and exposure to inappropriate content. The town-wide policy reduces the likelihood of children feeling left out and allows parents to present the ban as a collective decision. Ireland's health minister has even recommend it as a nationwide policy. 

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Celebrities Refuse Social Media for Their Kids

What do Kate Winslet, Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Penelope Cruz, Pink,  Mayim Biallik, and Matt LeBlanc all have in common (besides being gorgeous and famous)? They're each ahead of their time, parenting with their intuition instead of following the crowd. Each of these celebrities chose to not allow their teen on social media platforms---a bold choice coming ahead of the United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy stating that social media could pose a risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.

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Summer Break or Summer Slide?

Summer brings up such fond memories, but the transition can throw a lot of kids (and their parents!) for a loop. The abrupt switch from the hectic school year to summer break feels like cannonballing into a pool for the first time, and the quick change can cause issues.

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Summer Break: Kids Need Friends

It goes without saying that kids need to stay connected to their friends, and summertime is the perfect opportunity for kids to hone their social skills. During the school year, children sit with friends at lunch and run with the crowd at recess. But in the summer, those opportunities don't come naturally; it takes a bit of work to consider the when, where, and whom! By allowing our kids to take the reins on this, they're learning crucial social skills that will set the stage for their adult relationships.  

Through research, we know that “exposure to positive experiences, settings, and people, as well as opportunities to gain and refine life skills, supports young people in the acquisition and growth of [their] assets”. Let's try to break this down further.

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Summer Break: Connecting with Your Kids

Summer is just around the corner, and our kids are counting down how they'll spend three months free from homework, standardized tests, and hours in the classroom. While most parents don't have the same break as their kids, it's still a great opportunity to get to know your child and help them transition into the new season. 

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