Watching Television (and oh so much more) with Your Kids

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We’ve seen several shows recently come up that are geared toward kids, but parents worry that they might be inappropriate. 13 Reasons Why, in its second season, Stranger Things, and Insatiable are all geared toward adolescents but also have some mature themes and images. I’ve noticed personally that my kids are watching types of show I never had exposure to at their age - and they seem much more engaged.

On top of the content - our kids can access shows on so many more platforms than ever before - some with censorship, some without. It goes beyond what we let them watch - it’s what they find (recommended by the platform, what comes up in a search, or maybe what’s forwarded by a friend). We need to help them understand what they may come upon when we can’t be with them.

So, how much should we pay attention to ratings and what should we be watching with our kids? And how do we talk about the things we do watch? When we stumble on a term or scene they don’t understand - should you gloss over it or take this as an opportunity for a “teachable moment”? Sarah Cody and I had the pleasure of talking with Caroline Knorr, Senior Parenting Editor of Common Sense Media to get some answers and suggestions. Please listen to our latest episode of Parenting Beyond the Headlines. Let us know what you think of the show and if you have any ideas for future topics.

Guiding Your Children with Lighthouse Parenting

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We’ve seen the introduction of a law to allow Free-Range parenting and we’ve seen parents accused of Helicopter parenting. And while we may find ourselves leaning one way or the other, many of us are just looking for that right balance. Rather than fall victim to labelling our parenting styles and habits, we should remind ourselves that it’s in our best interest and in our children’s best interest to keep the big picture in mind. What is the research on parenting practices?

Sarah Cody and I had the pleasure of talking with Ken Ginsburg, author of five award-winning parenting books, an Adolescent Health Specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Co-founder and Director of Programs of Center for Parent and Teen Communication about what he calls Lighthouse Parenting. He has looked at the research on parenting practices and distilled some very clear recommendations.

Listen to our newest episode of Parenting beyond the Headlines and rate and subscribe if you like what you hear. Even better, send it along to a friend you think might enjoy it.

Keeping the Holiday Magic

The holiday songs have begun to play their rotation, the sales are in the stores, and the decorations galore adorn the town. The holidays are upon us. So, how do you maintain the holiday spirit, keep things reasonable, and enjoy the holidays without getting caught up in the stress? And how do you create that special, magical feel as your children get older?

I know as my own kids get older we face a faster-paced schedule and lack of interest in some of our traditions. Sarah Cody and I talk with special guest, Sara Orris, a blogger with Connecticut Working Moms to get some ideas of how to keep the holidays special as children age. Please listen to our newest episode of Parenting Beyond the Headlines and subscribe if you like what you hear.

Steps Toward Safe Teen Driving

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In July, the NIH released research suggesting teens are at greater risk for accidents in their first three months of getting a license as compared with getting their permit. The NIH also found that teens are far more likely to engage in risky behaviors that can lead to accidents when they have their license.

On the sixth episode of Parenting Beyond the Headlines, my co-host, Sarah Cody, and I welcomed special guest, Tim Hollister, author of His Father Still: A Parenting Memoir and Not So Fast.: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving.

Since the death of his 17-year-old son Reid in a car crash in 2006, Tim has become a nationally known advocate for safer teen driving. He talks with us about how to keep our kids safe on the road.