Snapchat Guide For Parents
May 2016
09

Snapchat Guide For Parents

Is your teen on Snapchat? Are you on Snapchat to keep up with your kids?

(That is what happened to us.)

We proclaimed last year that this newest, super hip social media app was off limits for our son, until *we* were more ready. There are lots of reason to be wary, and to be paying attention.

The name is perfect, because interactions are very quick. A “snap” – whether it be a photo, video or text – only stays up for a few seconds, which of course, can lead to the sharing of super inappropriate things. After the snap is gone, it’s gone, poof! Friends who have been on it since the beginning say the lurid behavior on Snapchat has chilled out, but it’s still a good reason – as with all social networks – to keep tabs on who your kid is interacting with and how.

Having said all that, I am starting to get my head around Snapchat and its appeal. It’s fun! My son describes it as “Twitter for YouTubers.” What he means by that is he’s heard me call Twitter a micro-blogging site, meaning we write these long-winded posts on our own blogs and then share little blips of life on Twitter. Snapchat does the same, in multiple formats. Continue reading…

Machu Picchu, Peru
Oct 2015
20

Middle School Trip to Machu Picchu, Peru

Two years ago, Dex’s Spanish teacher presented a plan to take all her kids on a dream trip to Peru. This was someplace I had never thought we could go, but we worked to save the money and luckily the school worked with Educational Tours, which allowed us to pre-pay monthly (and interest free!).

The group of middle schoolers, many of whom did not know each other before the trip, headed to South America this summer and one of the biggest attractions they visited was, of course, Machu Picchu.

It was interesting from our perspective, as the parents who stayed home with our child a world away… Dex was definitely homesick and had the most fun doing mundane things like playing games back at the hotels.

He didn’t take as many photographs as I would have expected, so some of the below were taken by his fellow travelers. I did ask him to get a selfie from “that famous view.” You can bet this photo is framed at our house.

Machu Picchu, Peru Continue reading…

Tech Tips for Families
Sep 2015
10

Family Tech Tips With AT&T’s Smart Limits

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by AT&T but all words and opinions are mine.

Our son Dex is about to turn 13, so we continue to slowly expand his freedoms on the phone. In the beginning, we had really strict policies about who he could text, but as he goes through middle school – he is gaining more casual friends that he wants to – and should be able to – communicate with on the regular.

But how do we allow him more wiggle room while still being protective? AT&T introduced me to their Smart Limits service and app… it’s been the perfect compromise for us.

Before that, how about a refresher on tech tips for families?

Family Tech Tips Continue reading…

Aug 2015
28

ParkerGames Interview at Super League Gaming in Denver

Do your kids play Minecraft? Of course they do. Every kid on the planet does, right? As a parent, I am super impressed with the game because of the creativity, resourcefulness and collaboration it inspires. Not to say I actually understand how it all works – but my 12 year old son Dex sure does. It’s pretty much what he did all summer, y’all.

And the Minecraft got even more organized when Super League Gaming came to Denver and held an event in our local movie theater. We got a taste of what the actual League is like (Fall registration open NOW for cities all over) when a bunch of kids and their parents set up on laptops and played various challenges against each other on the biggest gaming screen you have ever seen (yes, in the actual movie theater). Dex’s best game was 4th place, but he was more stoked to meet and interview the event’s special guest Parker, aka You Tube star ParkerGames.

Minecraft Gaming With Friends in a Movie Theater Continue reading…

Online Safety For Children
Jun 2015
10

Online Safety Tips for Kids (And Their Parents!)

.ME Top Level Domain Name

This post is part of a sponsored series from Domain.ME

This blog is a decade old. Seeing as my son is almost 13, he is has grown up online – at least in these archives. It has been an interesting learning experience for him, and us, as he’s grown.

I used his real name when I started because many other mom bloggers were making up cutesy names and I figured “Greeble” was goofy enough. That came back to bite us when his friends first learned how to Google each other and started reading stories about his diaper rash. Super quickly many posts got moved to “private” to protect his privacy. It even changed the whole tenor of the site: as he has grown up, there are less stories about him here because the stories are not mine to tell.

I have always been a bit of a stickler for following the COPPA age 13 standard for social networks. I recognize that every family finds their own way, but in addition to being a rule follower – having a public blog has taught me things about dealing with the online world. As Dex approaches this milestone, we have been prepping him, taking things slowly and learning about the every evolving landscape together. Continue reading…