Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.

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Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

New Tool Helps Parents Guide Constantly-Connected Kids

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022   

The pandemic caused kids' screen time to soar, some of it spent playing video games and using social media. Now, the National Parent Teachers Association has introduced a "Smart Talk" tool to address the issue.

Carrie Neill, the NPTA's Connected Ambassador, said the tool is designed to help parents start a meaningful conversation with their kids and lay out ground rules for being online and using mobile devices.

"The Smart Talk tool brings that power to families to collaboratively discuss, 'What are we comfortable with? What are the parameters?' and gives parents some language to work off of," she said, "and it gives kids a voice in the conversation."

Neill said PTA Connected is designed to educate and engage families on everything digital - from wellness to security to access, equity and literacy. She added that parents can go to the website PTA.org/saferinternet for guidance on how to facilitate a safe experience when kids use social media or gaming sites.

Neill said parents should not wait to address the issue of screen time until their kids are "missing in action" from family activities or it's causing friction among family members.

"So really, it's just being brave and having that conversation with your child - not avoiding it or waiting until there is a problem or a situation that might result in a consequence," she said. "So, proactively reaching out and having that discussion is so, so important."

She added that the tool encourages parents to explain, for example, who should be considered a stranger online, and to make sure kids know not to give out personal information such as their address, school or birthdate online. The national PTA site also has links to programs such as "Create with Kindness," addressing responsible online behavior and how to enable parental controls on TikTok.

Disclosure: National PTA contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Health Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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