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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How Music Enhances Learning

Just whistle while your work. Or ask your smart speaker to crank up the tunes while you clean. Music not only gets adults in the right headspace to focus on a task, but kids as well. Next time your child is prepping for a big test, encourage them to turn on some background music to boost their brain function. Research shows that music can impact emotions and thought processes, which can help lower stress before a test and contribute to focus. 

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Finances on Pinwheel

It's a step better than a paper check, but cash is rare these days. A lot of people rely on cash apps, like Venmo and PayPal, to pay their babysitters and dog walkers. 

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