Parenting in the Digital Age

I come across lots of good articles out there, and thought I’d share this one. It discusses how to be a parent in this digital age we are in.


Steps to good digital parenting

Here are six steps the Family Online Safety Institute recommends taking in order to be a good digital parent:

1. Talk to your kids

Your child is still learning to make good decisions on their own — whether they’re 3 or 17.

This is where you come in.

Talk to them early, and often, about peer pressure and why they should resist it. Be open and direct. Remind them that they should never do anything they are not comfortable with — online or offline. Let them know to tell you if someone asks them to do something that they think is wrong and not to talk to strangers online. With all the craziness in the world these days, you really can’t remind them of this enough!

2. Educate yourself

Not familiar with a game your kids love? Learn how to play it! Hear your kids talking about a new social media app? Learn how to use it! Search online for anything you don’t understand — there’s a wealth of information out there about almost every app and game created. You might find that you enjoy the same games or apps your kids do — and it might open up whole new lines of communication between you!

3. Use parental controls

Almost every online platform offers parental controls to help you restrict the types of content your child can view. Use them and check periodically to make sure they’re working.

4. Set reasonable time and usage limits

Set rules about how much screen time is acceptable and what your kids are, and aren’t, allowed to do online. The Family Online Safety Institute suggests putting a family contract in place that includes sanctions if agreed-upon limits aren’t followed.

5. Be present

As the Family Online Safety Institute put it, “Friend and follow, but don’t stalk.” What does that mean? It means if your child is old enough for social media, you should “friend” them — but respect their space, and don’t be the parent who comments on every photo! You should also talk to your child about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to share online — from personal information to photo choices.

6. Be a good role model!

You can talk to kids all you want about limiting screen time, but if they see you on your digital devices all the time …. well you’re saying one thing, but certainly sending a different message! When it’s time for the kids to unplug, you should too. Find something you can do together — go for a walk, play a game, or even curl up together on the couch to read a book.

State Testing Schedule

It’s the time of year for state testing! This morning, I updated my calendar to include the state testing days and times for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. These tests are used for a variety of purposes, and it is very important your student be here to complete the tests. I would also encourage taking measures to ensure your student gets enough sleep, is on time to school (even if they are on time for the test, being tardy can through a student’s whole day off), have a good breakfast, and feel they are ready for the test! Let’s show our best Everett Eagle Effort!

Just About 3/4 Done!

Wow! We are just about 3/4 done with the school year! It’s hard to believe, and even harder to believe since it is going to feel like it’s below 0 all day. What an awful winter! As a side note, there has been a higher prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to our extended winter weather, and you may want to talk with your primary care provider if you are feeling more depressive symptoms than normal.

On Friday, I finished up that last career lesson. I had a BLAST teaching these lessons to all grade levels in February. In kindergarten, the students loved being detectives and guessing the careers people had based upon the clothes on their clotheslines. In first grade, we read Weird Al’s silly book about different jobs, and then students were able to pick what they’d like to be. In second grade, we used Chromebooks to navigate the Paws in Jobland website and students were able to read about careers that fit with their interests. Third grade used a paper and pencil career interest inventory, but then used the O’Net website to explore careers in their “career color.” Fourth and fifth graders used the online career interest inventory on to explore careers which fit with their interests. It was a blast for all students and for me!

This month, we’re tackling different skills. These “classroom survival skills” range from ignoring distractions and making corrections to asking for help and being prepared. Be sure to ask your student what skills Mrs. Harris talked about this month!

We also added another mindful breathing technique to our repertoire. Each month, students learn a different breathing technique and this month it’s all about the bumblebee breathing. Ask your student which breathing technique is his or her favorite, and have them demonstrate!