Our Lunchroom is Loud

At START, we love helping families find time to unplug and connect…and we are champions of schools that strategically find ways to help students connect with each other. This year, a local school district made a bold move and implemented an “away during the day” policy…and we loved hearing one principal’s report of how it is going. Kudos!


It was devastating… But in the aftermath, my wife and I began to look at our kids’ digital lives in the face, and come to grips with a truth:  We will never be experts in this part of parenting.  We will never be one step ahead of this game.  But admitting so to our kids has actually built a bridge we are hoping will last…

Mama, What Did You Post?

So often when we talk about social media, mental health, and kids, we tend to think the only thing affecting today’s teens is how they interact with other teens.  But Lauri, a START parent, recently shared with her community, “I’m learning from my little guys that the pressures don’t only come from their friends; it can also come from me as a parent. And it starts way earlier than I was hoping.” To learn more about the trend of sharenting, check out this this article

Curfews Then + Now

When I find them in the morning, still asleep, with a device in their hands, the truth is, I have no idea where they have been or who they have been with all night.  It is like I am inviting the darkness of the streets into their own room—and the darkness is actually more aggressive than it has ever been.  All of the things my parents worried I might be exposed to if they let me stay out past 10 p.m. are a reality, and they are at my child’s fingertips. 

Device Bedtimes | Student Perspective

If you are thinking about how to get your kid to put away his or her device at night, but you aren’t sure how they would feel about it, check out these thoughts from our friend, Will Gurley. Will’s unique perspective on device bedtimes comes from his background as someone who has struggled with depression and launched the You Matter Festival in response to the teen suicide epidemic in Johnson County.

Our Daughter’s Nightly Struggle

My husband and I decided it was time for her to start putting her device in our room at bedtime. I honestly had no idea how much this decision would impact her. After she blew up in anger, she began sobbing and puddled on the floor. As I held her, I just listened. Listened to all the worries and fears of fitting in and keeping up, but there was something even more alarming…

START Three-Part Parent Program

My husband and I have four kids – elementary and middle school age – who love screens. Not a book worm in the crowd. Like many families, they watched their fair share of Baby Einstein and The Wiggles in the baby and toddler years…sometimes over and over again – so I could make dinner, or nurse the baby, or heaven forbid sit down with the neighbor to have a glass of wine. These days, our kids love to play app-based games, watch videos, and play on their Xbox.