What the Tech?!

When you feel like your kids know more about tech than you do, it can be easy to throw your hands in the air and give up on digital parenting. But we want to encourage you that you might know more than you think about technology. Just ask these preschoolers!

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Krista Boan
Unplug with Overland Park

Kudos to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens for giving families cell phone sleeping bags and free admission this weekend! It can be hard for families to find time to unplug, explore, and make fun memories…but these little green bags are a simple way the City of Overland Park is encouraging the next generation of kids to get curious about the world…and their contributions to it. Thanks, OP, for helping families remember that screens are small, but life is big!

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Krista Boan
START Family Pillars

What exactly does it mean to be a START family? We’re glad you asked! Here are our top five rules of thumb for digital parenting. We hope these pillars are a helpful tool as you navigate your family’s tech life.

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Krista Boan
The Courage to Start

As a single mom, my relationship with my daughter is my top priority in a long list of to-dos everyday.   I would do anything for her well-being, and I try to be intentional about giving her my best each day but like most parents, I make mistakes along this journey…

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Krista Boan
Hopping Off the Screentime Merry-Go-Round

Neurotherapist Susan Dunaway shares that over and over, parents come to her with the same plea for help: “Our kids are great kids, but it seems all their worst behaviors come out when we tell them it’s time to get off their screens. What do we do?” Check out her suggestions for helping your child stay in control when it’s time to hop off the screen time merry-go-round!

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Krista Boan
Giving Your Phone Its Own Spring Break

As my husband and I were prepping and packing for our first vacation sans kids, the first time we were going to be away from our kids in a meaningful way, we realized that we were both at capacity with work, and tapped out emotionally with the day in and day out stress of running a two-career household with busy kids. So, before the trip, we made a pact to put the phones away…

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Krista Boan
The Abundance of the Ordinary

As screens—movies, TV, video games—present a world far more colorful and energetic than the created world itself, they not only ratchet up our expectations for what is significant and entertaining; they also undermine our ability to enjoy what we could call the abundance of the ordinary.  Andy Crouch, author of The Tech-Wise Family, shares more.

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Krista Boan
Unplug with START

We know it might not be practical for every family to make it 24 hours offline—so even if you can only find 30 minutes to unplug and connect with your favorite people, we say it counts! If you want a fun way to let people know you are unplugging, grab an “I unplug” poster here and post it on social media as an “out of office” type message.

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Krista Boan
Our Lunchroom is Loud

At START, we love helping families find time to unplug and connect…and we are champions of schools that strategically find ways to help students connect with each other. This year, a local school district made a bold move and implemented an “away during the day” policy…and we loved hearing one principal’s report of how it is going. Kudos!

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Krista Boan
JOMO

We loved this article from the New York Times about a fun new word you can try out with your kids: JOMO. Share with them that it isn't always easy to step away from your screen, but it's part of being digitally healthy...and the rewards of being present with loved ones usually outweigh the quick fix we find scrolling other people's social media feeds…

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Krista Boan
Phubbing | Brenda Walden, LMFT

A recent study of romantic relationships among college students found that “smartphone dependency is significantly linked to relationship uncertainty.” This Valentine’s week, join Brenda Walden, Marriage + Family Therapist, to learn more about “phubbing”…and ways it might be impacting your romantic relationship.

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Krista Boan
Time Well Spent | The Greatest Show

It's the story of a young dad chasing big dreams who gets…wait for it…distracted…by a glittery, sparkly, unattainable opera singer named Jenny Lind. He gives his full attention to a person he has barely even met, ignoring the people who love him deeply. And yet, at the end of the day, he realizes that this was not time well spent...and returns home to rediscover the greatest show: being present with his family and friends.

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Krista Boan
Unprepared

It was devastating… But in the aftermath, my wife and I began to look at our kids’ digital lives in the face, and come to grips with a truth:  We will never be experts in this part of parenting.  We will never be one step ahead of this game.  But admitting so to our kids has actually built a bridge we are hoping will last…

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Krista Boan
80% of Teens

Not sure whether or not your kid is online at night? In this study, an astonishing 80% of both boys and girls admitted to being frequent vampers at least sometime during high school. They spent an average of 1-2 hours per night awake while their parents thought they were asleep.

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Krista Boan
Mama, What Did You Post?

So often when we talk about social media, mental health, and kids, we tend to think the only thing affecting today’s teens is how they interact with other teens.  But Lauri, a START parent, recently shared with her community, “I’m learning from my little guys that the pressures don’t only come from their friends; it can also come from me as a parent. And it starts way earlier than I was hoping.” To learn more about the trend of sharenting, check out this this article

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Krista Boan
Because You Shared...

Two weeks ago, we shared the story of a family who put their daughter’s phone to bed, and it lifted a huge weight off of her shoulders. It turns out, her story resonated with hearts around the globe. In two weeks, nearly two million people have read it, in more than 160 countries. Parents around the world are struggling, wanting to give their kids healthier, happier lives.

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Krista Boan
Curfews Then + Now

When I find them in the morning, still asleep, with a device in their hands, the truth is, I have no idea where they have been or who they have been with all night.  It is like I am inviting the darkness of the streets into their own room—and the darkness is actually more aggressive than it has ever been.  All of the things my parents worried I might be exposed to if they let me stay out past 10 p.m. are a reality, and they are at my child’s fingertips. 

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Krista Boan