After seeing so many discussions in our Out Tech Your Kids Facebook community filled with parents who seem panicked — or at least very concerned — about kids and texting and social media, we thought it would be helpful to devote this week’s episode to that very subject. This isn’t your typical OMG SOCIAL MEDIA IS EATING OUR KIDS’ BRAINS discussion because honestly, there are plenty of places you can find that.

Instead, you’ll find what we hope is a reasonable, balanced, non-alarmist discussion about how to raise savvy digital kids so that they grow up to make good choices — both online and off.

Spoiler: We’ve got a lot of work to do as parents. We can’t just hand our kids devices any more than we’d hand them the keys to the car without lessons. (Then be shocked that they don’t know how to drive.)

We can’t just ban certain apps either, or monitor their tech use 24/7.

Social media is not going away. So if you need truly helpful, actionable tips, and maybe even need to be talked down just a bit — no judgments, it’s scary, we get it! —  this discussion may be just what you’re looking for. If you’ve already got kids on social media, we think you’ll find a lot of this information reassuring. And if your kids are not even close to having their own devices yet…well, these tips may be for you, most of all.

Tune in right here right now!

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Here are a few topics we discuss on the show:

– Our post on raising good digital citizen: the only 4 things you have to tech your kids

– The problems with a lot of monitoring systems. (Spoiler: They’re not an alternate to parenting.)

– Talking about the big picture (making good decisions) versus the specific details (sexting).

– Why identifying fake news and hoaxes online is important.

The instagram hoax that roped in celebrities too.

– Teaching kids to handle negative comments and trolls

– Our interview with Ken Ginsburg about raising teens

– Our interview with Jordan Shapiro about the positive aspects of kids and social media

– The books of Dr. Devorah Heitner who talks about mentoring vs monitoring.

– How our kids can make a positive difference in the world online. Good digital citizenry is not just about protecting themselves!

– Saying no. You can do it, parents!

Top image: Blake Barlow via Unsplash


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Don’t forget to join our Spawned Podcast Community on Facebook if you’d like to chat about this episode, as well as our Out Tech Your Kids community. We’d really love to hear from you.