Kids of all ages are swiping and scrolling, totally transfixed by screens of all sizes. This is the new frontier of parenting. If you have questions on how to take control of the technology in your kids' lives, click the links below to explore more about each topic from commonsensemedia.org.
Stop. Think. Connect. Toolkit. - Cyber criminals do not discriminate; they target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a large corporation, a small business, or belong to a home user. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility in which all Americans have a role to play. The Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit provides resources for all segments of the community.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking - With marijuana marketing, vaping videos, interactive alcohol ads, and popular shows that glorify drug use, it's tougher than ever to limit kids' exposure to alcohol, drugs, and smoking in the media. These articles, advice, and videos will help you discover what's appropriate at each age, find out how kids are influenced, and learn how to prevent your kid from starting harmful habits.
Cell Phone Parenting - Getting a cell phone has become a milestone for most kids. This page helps you lay the groundwork for responsible cell phone use, and manage the challenges and opportunities they bring. Learn how to decide when your child is ready for a phone, set rules, choose the right phone and service plan, and stay on top of what your child is doing on his or her phone.
Cyberbulling, Haters, and Trolls - Find age-specific guidelines, videos, and articles to help with tough conversations - whether your kid is a bully or is being bullied. Click here for answers to cyberbullying questions, age-appropriate advice, school resources, and more from parents and experts.
Learning with Technology - Learning with technology, whether with a math app, a video how-to, or a wiki, opens up a new world of discovery for kids. And as they access information in novel ways, kids are preparing for life in a new interconnected, global world. Learn how to spot the good stuff, find the right products for your kids' needs, and foster a love of learning.
Marketing to Kids - Commercials have been around forever. But with viral marketing, data tracking, product placements, and other promotional tricks, today's advertising landscape is a whole new ball game. Want to ad-proof your kid? Find out the real impact of advertising, which ages are the most vulnerable, and how to help your kids view ads critically so they'll become savvy consumers.
Privacy and Internet Safety - Which privacy settings should you use? What are the ins and outs of parental controls? Get tips on everything from the basics, such as smart usernames, to the big stuff, such as appropriate sharing.
Screen Time - Setting screen-time limits -- and helping kids moderate their own habits -- are all about finding the right balance for your family's needs and lifestyle. Common Sense Media offers advice for creating a realistic schedule, setting age-appropriate guidelines on TV times, finding the first websites for young kids to use, handing violent media, and managing kids' cell phone use.
Sex, Gender, and Body Image - Media messages play a big role in shaping gender norms, ideas about sex, and body satisfaction, from the time kids are in preschool to their adolescence. Common Sense Media's latest research paper Children, Teens, Media, & Body Image (2015) highlights the latest pressures kids are facing and offers helpful tips for parents.
Sexting - This link takes you to a Common Sense Media page, Talking About "Sexting," complete with discussion, video and lesson plan resources and handbook, and advice for parents.
Social Media - Social media isn't simply a way of life for kids -- it's life itself. To help them keep their online interactions safe, productive and positive, Common Sense Media offers the most up-to-date research and guidance on social media basics. Learn about the latest apps and websites, and get tips on talking to your kids about sharing, posting, and avoiding digital drama.
Special Needs and Learning Difficulties - For kids with special needs, the right tools can make a huge difference. Games, apps, and devices offer access, information, and inclusion to kids with learning differences, autism, vision and hearing loss, and more. Learn how to configure your child's device, boost your kid's social skills, and determine the best digital media for your family's needs.
Violence in the Media - If you think there's a lot of violence in your kids' movies, games, and TV shows, you're right. While studies show watching violent images can lead to aggressive behavior and other negative results, parents can help ease the impact. Our advice can help you select age-appropriate content, wean kids off violent video games, and better understand the research on media violence.