Good news for parents whose kids are ready for a digital first step such as getting a phone or joining social media. A free, simple tool can help make the transition smoother. Continue reading
For the first time ever, a sophisticated wireless device supports parents in their quest to teach their kids life balance. On the Amazon Fire Kids Edition, reading and sleeping even get top priority.
Up until now, if you’re a parent, the digital age has been tough. You work hard to teach your kids the basics, like how to cross the street and say thank you, but the moment they get their hands on your phone you’re hard-pressed to ever reel back their full attention. Finally, though, a gadget is on your side. Continue reading
So your child has been clamoring for months, if not years, and you’re still not sure it’s the right time for that first phone. You are wise to think it over carefully because giving a smartphone has more strings attached than the most sought-after pair of sneakers.
For some kids, a phone is a necessity from an early age so they can keep in touch when transferring between caregivers. But if your child is always under the watchful eye of an adult (at home, on the bus, or in school), having a phone may be more of a want than a need.
To determine if you and your child are ready for this life-changing milestone, ask yourself these questions: Continue reading
To fix a community problem, it may be better to bypass the adults and leave it to the kids. After all, they revived “the most depressing park in America” in what has been considered one of the roughest towns: Camden, New Jersey.
I was lucky to learn about this story at my college reunion when I sat down for breakfast next to classmate William “Jud” Weiksnar, now a Franciscan friar and former pastor of Camden’s St. Anthony of Padua.
Jud told me he was curious to see if middle-school students could learn civic engagement, so he offered it as an after-school activity. Community organizing, he says, “goes at the root of the problem” and is all about “finding your own voice and speaking for yourself.”
I had to smile at his group’s name: the Student Leaders’ Von Nieda Park Task Force, or SLVNPTF. With an acronym like that, they had to be serious.
The first meeting of interested sixth-, seventh-, and eight-graders was less than three years ago. They chose a target: their dark, rundown, crime-ridden neighborhood playground. They then set out to “make the calls, write the letters and meet the people” who had the power to fix it up.
The students have been stunningly successful. The park now boasts Continue reading
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