Driver’s Ed Approach to Messenger Kids

START recently partnered with the Wall Street Journal to share thoughts about a hot app for kids: Facebook’s Messenger Kids, an introductory social media app designed for kids age 6-12. If you decide to take the plunge, it’s likely your child’s first foray into social media and it’s important to equip them for it and to be attentive to potential unexpected side effects.

Tables + Bedtimes

In the thick of flurries of group texting, news checking, and zoom scheduling, you might sense that you—and your kids—are online more than ever. But just like our devices need to recharge, so do we. If you are looking for a couple of zones to designate as “device-free”—we suggest tables and bedtimes.

Rhythms are your friend

In national surveys, families report that the number one battleground is managing technology. During this time of quarantine, we encourage you to get ahead of those battles by adopting consistent rhythms for screen use. Let consistent, predictable patterns “be the bad guy” so you don’t have to.

Time Well Spent

The days will be long and emotionally challenging, but if you can, we encourage you to look for some unexpected positives. In quarantines throughout history, Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Isaac Newton developed calculus and discovered gravity. We encourage you to make this season “time well spent” by guiding your kids towards meaningful activities—both online and offline. 

Device Free Board Rooms

One of our rules of thumb is Start with Yourself. But one of the top obstacles parents share? Figuring out what digital health looks like at work. We loved these examples from companies who are taking this to heart and experimenting with new workplace practices to support digital wellness, including Netsmart—a healthcare company based in Kansas City.

Smartphone Under the Tree?

When it comes to setting boundaries with new devices, it is much easier to start with strong limits and release them slowly, rather than trying to put them in place during a time of stress. But if this doesn’t sound like a magical start to your Christmas day, we gotcha covered! Here are five topics to talk about when they unwrap the phone. Feel free to print them as a contract that you and your child each initial!