Posts Tagged ‘ social media ’

Parenting In the Age of Social Media: Randi Zuckerberg Shares Her Tips!

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Randi and Asher

As the CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, editor-in-chief of the digital lifestyle destination Dot Complicated, bestselling author and SiriusXM radio show host, and the sister of a certain hoodie-clad entrepreneur, it’s hard to say if there’s a mom out there who’s more social media–savvy than Randi Zuckerberg. We caught up Randi to talk tech/life balance, oversharing on social media, and her favorite job of all.

Parents: Your children’s book, Dot, promotes the message that tech devices are great, but so is embracing your surroundings in real life. Do you let Asher, your 3-year-old, use any devices? What are some of your favorites for young children?

Randi Zuckerberg: I’m definitely of the mindset that when you’re talking about young children, the tech/life balance should skew WAY in favor of the life component—going outdoors, getting dirty, experimenting with different materials, etc. That being said, there’s definitely a time and a place for tech—it’s very important that children develop a sense of tech literacy, along with the other skills they are developing, so that they’re armed with the tools they’ll need to be successful later in life and so that they’re on par with their peer group. Tech can also be wonderful to promote creativity, with apps that foster a love of art, music, reading, and more.

In our house, digital minutes are special and they need to be earned. They can be earned by doing chores (in the case of our 3-year-old son, “chores” involve things like putting his shoes on by himself and remembering to say “please”) or given during special occasions, such as airplane travel. For older children, I recommend giving a set amount of minutes each week, and giving your child control of how they want to allocate it—almost like a bank. I find that MomsWithApps and CommonSenseMedia provide excellent suggestions around apps and devices that are right for each child and family—enabling you to search for apps catering to different sensory levels, apps you can use without wifi, and more.

Parents: What are the pros and cons of letting children so young use tech devices?

RZ: I think the pros of introducing children to technology early far outweigh the cons. That being said, there’s a difference between mindlessly sticking a child in front of a tablet as a babysitter, and mindfully choosing apps that engage their minds and creativity. I will never fault any parent who just needs a few minutes of peace and quiet and puts a video on for their child to watch (I live in the real world, after all!) but in an ideal world, screen time is a time when children are actively engaged, rather than just passively sitting and watching.

For older children, one of the biggest risks I see are around sites that allow people to be anonymous. While I understand that teenagers like to have spaces to go online away from their parents and prying eyes, those sites also run an increased risk of bullying, when people feel like they can say hurtful things without consequences. Before your children use sites like that, it’s a good idea to sit down and talk to them, to make sure they are ready to handle it.

Parents: What’s a good rule of thumb for when parents should know their kid is ready to use a tablet or smartphone?

RZ: These days, it’s common to go out to a restaurant and see a 1-year-old baby playing on her parent’s device. I remember when my son was 6 months old, he picked up one of his toys and started pretend text messaging on it, because he saw my husband and I doing that so much. Yikes! For very young children, I recommend one of the special early childhood tablets, such as the LeapFrog device—if you hand your phone to a child under 2 years old, you should just automatically assume it will become a chew toy, or you’ll be bringing it in for cracked screen repairs after it hits the floor. Once your child has the motor control and the attention span to hold the phone and concentrate, he or she is ready to engage with a tablet or smartphone—but that age varies for every family.

Parents: Is it easier or harder to parent in the age of social media? It certainly makes it much easier to judge another parent’s choice—or be judged for yours! What’s your opinion on that?

RZ: Parenting in the age of social media means that every single person you’ve ever known is now an armchair parent, judging you and commenting on everything. In some ways, it’s made parenting a lot easier, because you now have a constant support system at your beck and call, 24/7. I’ve had some pretty rough nights of children being sick, not sleeping, etc—where I’ve found great relief in my online network. That being said, it’s also way too easy to be judgmental. Parents, it’s hard enough raising children as it is! Let’s please try to stop judging each other. You never know what’s really going on behind the scenes of that perfect, glossy, happy-looking Facebook photo…

Parents: What advice would you give to moms if they’re considering sharing a photo or story about their child online?

RZ: Most of the time, sharing about your children or family online is absolutely harmless—it can be a great way to get support from friends, keep connected to loved ones who live far away, and contribute to a virtual “time capsule” that you’ll have to look back on years from now. On the other hand, more and more information is available about all of us at just a Google search away…make sure that if you’re contributing to your child’s digital footprint, you’re not posting something that could potentially embarrass or harm them years from now when they are applying to schools or jobs. If you find yourself thinking, “should I post this or not,” the answer is probably “not.”

Parents: It recently came out that Steve Jobs was a “low-tech” parent. What’s your take on that lifestyle?

RZ: I think it’s great to be thoughtful about the role of technology in your household and make informed decisions based on what’s right for your children and your particular circumstance. There’s lots of time for children to be exposed to technology in years to come, so if you want to have a low-tech household, power to you! That being said, I don’t advocate for a completely tech-free household, especially if you have young girls. We need more girls going into STEM fields!

Parents: You just had a new baby a few weeks ago. How are you adjusting to having two little ones around the house?

RZ: It’s absolute chaos! Happy, wonderful, amazing chaos…but chaos, nonetheless!

Parents: You’ve said before that you believe women can hold many titles. For you, along with being a CEO, author, radio host (and more!) you also hold the title of “mom.” What’s your favorite part of that job?

RZ: Of all the jobs I’ve held, “mom” is definitely the one I am proudest of. It’s just so amazing to see the world through a child’s eyes. We’re so busy rushing, rushing everywhere, I’ve found that having children has really forced me to stop and smell the flowers and prioritize what’s truly important. It’s also really brought my husband and I together around the values we share that we want to instill in our children, and the legacy that we want them to carry on. I’m totally outnumbered by boys now, though…help!

How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy

Photo of Randi Zuckerberg and her son: Delbarr Moradi

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#JOMO is the new #FOMO because #YOLO

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The constant barrage of parenting humblebrags, pin-worthy pedicures, and perfectly posed (and filtered) pics of well-dressed, angelic children is causing us to miss out on what’s right in front of us. So, bid adieu to that nasty FOMO feeling and embrace JOMO (joy of missing out). Let everyone else hustle to keep up with the Joneses while you enjoy the relief of doing your own thing, no matter how un-Instagrammable it may be. Start by:

Just Saying No
When everyone’s volunteering for a PTA committee but you choose to binge-watch Orange Is the New Black instead, JOMO! When your single friend invites you to happy hour but you’d rather sing along to the Frozen soundtrack with the kids (again), JOMO! Only say yes to plans that truly excite you. Who cares if you don’t get tagged in the photo later?

Keeping It Real
Find IRL experiences that mimic the sites you enjoy most. If you’re always pinning craft ideas or recipes, take a cooking class or pick up art supplies and get creative with your kids. Crave connection? Join a mom’s group for a real-life social meet-up.

Seeing the Bigger Picture
For each image of a child quietly reading a book, there are hundreds of un-photographed moments where his behavior is…less than ideal. The next time you’re staring in awe (and envy) at a photo or status update, remind yourself that social media is not real life—and that all the good stuff happens off-camera anyway.

—Sabrina James

Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail

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Tags: , , , , , , | Categories: GoodyBlog

Jenna Bush Hager: “I want the moments that I have with Mila to not be interrupted by anything.”

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Last week, Jenna Bush Hager ventured to Brooklyn, New York to introduce educators to Bing in the Classroom—a new initiative (free for schools) to bring technology safely to America’s students—and to lead a special lesson plan for the kids of PS 205. As a former teacher, rising journalist, and mom to 1-year-old Mila, Jenna knows that technology can teach us a lot, but must be used carefully. Parents caught up with Jenna to discuss technology, education, and life with her little girl.

P: As we continue advancing in this digital age, technology is both friend and foe. What are some “best practices” for helping children to use these tools productively and safely?

JBH: As a new mom I’m particularly concerned with that. It’s important that we give kids access to the technology—particularly in schools—so they’ll be successful learners and eventually successful workers for our country. The one thing I don’t want to do, personally, is use technology as a replacement for the job that I’m supposed to be doing. I want to use it in a way that can help Mila learn and grow, but I don’t ever want it to replace our dinner conversations. I even found myself working while taking care of her, and I just realized it had to stop. When I get home from work I leave my cell phone up in the front of our house in a little basket and I take her back and we do the bedtime routine. I want the moments that I have with her to not be interrupted by anything.

P: As Mila grows, how do you hope to ensure her digital safety and digital “health,” especially with social media as prominent as it is?

JBH: Obviously, Mila is only 1. It’s something that I think Henry and I are quite conscious of and even worried about. I grew up wanting to play outside and we didn’t have video games or any of that. I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was in college, so this is a totally different world. I feel like it’s uncharted waters for the two of us. Not only do I want her to stay protected, but I also don’t want my husband and I to be so distracted by technology that we don’t interact.

P: Are there any other specific tech safety lessons you anticipate teaching her?

JBH: It’s hard to say because I’ve only been a parent for a year so I don’t want to speak on things that I’m not that knowledgeable about yet, but I know from my students that obviously safe search is important. As a parent you have to monitor what your children are doing online, that’s all there is to it. It’s a huge concern that these kids are putting something on the internet and it stays there for the rest of their lives. I want to teach her that you can use it and to connect with friends, but it shouldn’t be your only connection and what you’re putting on there stays there forever.

P: As we were saying, Mila just turned 1. How did you celebrate the big first birthday?

JBH: We actually just celebrated on Saturday with a little cowboy and Senoritas party, so we brought some Texas to New York City. I still have Cheerios all over my apartment. We just had a lot of friends over and family, including my sister. Mila loved cake, of course, she’d never had it and she quite appreciated sugar, like her mother.

Sign up for our Best Birthdays newsletter to find ideas for an unforgettable celebration.

P: Is there anything that she does that is just like you when you were a baby? 

JBH: She reminds me a lot of the two of us. She’s really curious, which as a mom I love. She’s so interested and focused in the world. She’s smiling at everybody walking by. You can tell she’s an extrovert. When she’s around people she loves getting energy from them. She’s just the most curious little person. It’s hard to say what I was like as a baby, but I know that she has this curiosity for life that I just love.

P: Reading is a big part of your life. What are your favorite books to read with her?

JBH: This is cliché, but it was my favorite book that my parents read to us: Goodnight Moon. We have it in English, Spanish and French. I don’t speak French, I speak Spanish. Henry took a little bit of French so he reads the French one. My friend just gave us a huge collection of Madeleine books, including one that is in Spanish. I’m really excited to get into those because when I was little I just adored her. I thought she was such a fun character. I love Dr. Seuss, obviously. [Books] are her favorite toys, which I love. My mother was a librarian; I love to read. I think that’s something that I can pass on to her.

P: What are our country’s greatest challenges with regard to education today and what are some steps we can take to fix those?

JBH: That’s a huge question. I think the biggest challenge is making sure that every single child gets access to an excellent education. There’s this gap between students that have access to really good educations and those that don’t. We want to make sure every child no matter where they live, what neighborhood, has access to a really excellent education. As far as solving it, it would have been solved had it been an easy problem. But there are so many amazing organizations and innovative programs like Bing in the Classroom, Teach for America, the Harlem Children’s Zone. The fact that there are so many smart people working on it gives me a lot of hope that this problem will be solved.

Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology

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Just Kidding! Facebook Advice From Our Humorist in Residence

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Our writer Sarah Schmelling offers a funny perspective in her new Parents magazine column, ”Just Kidding! 

Q: Lately, I’m being “unfriended” by other moms on Facebook on a daily basis. I don’t understand it because it seems that, unlike most of them, I have a really good handle on being a mom to my three kids. In fact, I actually find it easy! So I’m always sharing tips and my two cents on what’s worked really well for me. Not to mention all the photos I post of my amazing food, like the mozzarella I made by hand from milk delivered to my door by Amish buggy. Why wouldn’t they want to learn to be more like me?

A: Sorry, I didn’t finish reading your letter—I was too busy unfriending you.


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Spread Cheer, Get Some in Return!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

With the food riches of Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is looming just around the corner (about three weeks to be exact). Though many get caught up trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends, it’s easy to forget that presents don’t always need to come in shiny packages. 

Today’s #GivingTuesday, a national movement that started just last year. The goal: create a national day of giving where people can pay it forward. Whether that means donating to a favorite charity or volunteering at your local shelter, being charitable is all about finding the causes that matter to you.

One toy company is taking that mentality and spreading the joy throughout December. Tegu, known for its award-winning magnetic blocks, recently introduced a new member to the family: the Tegu Elf. And he’s on a mission to give back this holiday season.

From now until December 20, he will be tracking the hashtag #TeguElf across social media–Tegu’s Facebook wall, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Once he finds a person in need, he’ll send a special present your way, anything from free Tegu products to a restaurant gift card.

To get the elf’s attention, just send out a message with the hashtag and the thing you’d like most this Christmas. Don’t forget to look outside your immediate family, too. The elf is on the lookout for charities to donate to as well.

In the weeks to come, be sure to track his movements and announcements on Tegu’s Facebook page. Each day, he offers something new (such as free cubes placed in every fifth order on the site). In the meantime, if you have your own plans to give back today, share a picture explaining your good deeds using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie.

The time it takes you to do something for others will feel so much better than battling a sea of frenzied shoppers.

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‘Nanny Diaries’ Authors on Parenting in the Social Media Age

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus with their childrenParents caught up with renowned authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus just before their latest book, The First Affair, hit store shelves. Known best for their breakout novel The Nanny Diaries and its sequel Nanny Returns, Emma and Nicola have since moved from nannyhood to motherhood. Here the writing team chats all things Nanny Diaries, being moms to their 3-year-olds—a daughter for Nicola, a son for Emma—and their latest must-read for moms.

How were The Nanny Diaries born?

EM: We heard mothers who neither stayed at home nor worked complaining about their help. It was a very one-sided story because the help was never really interviewed and didn’t have a voice. We really wanted to talk about everything we had witnessed and experienced and that whole side of the conversation. We set out to write Nanny Diaries.

NK: We never imagined that it was going to create a very large career change for us or that we’d be sitting here talking to you about our seventh book 13 years later.

How did working as nannies affect your parenting style and your relationship with the people who take care of your children?

NK: As a nanny I ran a very tight ship. If you sort of establish what the rules are day one then you never have to do it again because they know their boundaries and kids find that very comforting. As a parent, it’s a disaster. Sophie runs roughshod over me all the time. We always sensed that being a parent and being a nanny are not the same things at all, but G-d they are not the same things at all. The other great thing that I feel like I got from being a nanny, why I would recommend it to anyone for at least a year as a twenty-something job, is that I really viscerally understand how fast this is going to go in a way that I don’t think you can unless you’ve raised kids. I don’t sweat a lot of things. I just know that it’s going to be fine. A lot of people say raise your first like your fourth. And she was my fourth. She was my 31st in many ways.

Does your experience as a nanny have an affect on the way you treat your babysitter when she comes over?

EM: It’s always at the very front of my mind. I am constantly aware of her perspective in this and that she never becomes part of the woodwork to me. I think something that really shocked me as a nanny were parents who sort of assumed the worst from the get-go. People who didn’t accept the benefit of the doubt. I see through her eyes. Also, I’m so touched and humbled by the effort that she makes, the level of good thinking that she does for my child.

NK: I’m so appreciative. When I come to pickup at the end of the day I just want to hand them a flask of whiskey. I’m like “Oh my G-d, you’ve been with twelve 3.5 year-olds all day. Are you ok?”

EM: I would walk in with a beer if I could.

Do you think your books—from Nanny Diaries all the way through The First Affair—appeal to moms?

NK: I hope so.

EM: I think just because you’re a mom it doesn’t negate, if anything you’re probably more enhanced, that you’re a woman trying to find your place in the world.

NK: We try to write the kinds of stories that we like to find the time to read now. They have to be a page-turner because you are just too tired for anything where you don’t have a question that’s keeping you going. We like to write stories about some aspect about being a woman that hopefully resonates with everybody. I think our moms are our most loyal group. I also think moms don’t really want to read about being moms when they get some down time.

EM: I don’t. I don’t want to read anything.

NK: When you go to a fiction place, that’s not my escapism.

EM: Maybe that changes when you have like an 18-year-old.

I’ll check back then. What initially drove you to write The First Affair?

NK: I think certainly when the most memorable occurrence happened in recent history it was something that really struck us because we are the exact same age and because we made so many mistakes in our early 20s. We were so lucky to come of age before the internet when those mistakes didn’t follow us into our first job interviews. They didn’t follow us even into our next relationships.

EM: To us, this story was a fascinating place to spend some time. The tremendous thrill of being in a secret like that and the paralyzing burden of being in a secret like that, especially when your sense of yourself is just beginning to be form…. Then for a mom, your sexuality, your relationship, it does tend to get pushed to the side. You’re just trying to get through the next five minutes. And to take yourself back to a time when this paradox is a 360 [from life now], it was everything you were in. We have the reader ask for herself, would I have chosen that? Would I have followed him? Would I have kissed him? Would I have called him back? For us, certainly, as mothers writing it, it was a great place to spend five hours a day. For a mother reading it, it’s just a totally different problem sequence than what you’re in for your day-to-day life.

With all of these public scandals that have exploded in the media recently, how do you feel about raising children, specifically a daughter, in a place where not only this is happening, but it’s happening for the world to see? How do you navigate that?

NK: I get overwhelmed by a lot of things. There are things that I get overwhelmed by before I even get to that place. Sexting I get overwhelmed by. The internet. The fact that the average age of first porn exposure is now 8. Even if you have netnanny on your computer, they’ll go to someone’s house who doesn’t. I think we’re a generation who is going to have to relinquish a lot of control and try to give our children the best context that we can for the information they’re going to get bombarded with and hope for the best.

There is a great line in Tina Fey’s BossyPants in the prayer for her daughter when she says may her daughter avoid the eyes of the creepy soccer coach because it’s not the beauty that draws him but the damage—which is incredibly astute. So my first and foremost goal is to create a child who doesn’t have a gaping hole in her soul. So I’m hoping that Sophie is not wounded. That chocolate cake will just be chocolate cake. That her married boss will just be her married boss. That none of these things are going to hold the power and the magnetism because she won’t be trying to work through some childhood trauma. That’s my job.

On the flip side, coming up as a man in this world, how do you go about raising maybe a respectful child or a child who is aware?

EM: I was thinking Tina Fey is exactly the quote. I think we have to aim to just keep—and not moreso with a young man than a young woman—but to just [let them] know how loved they are and to have love be a clean, balanced part of their lives.

As authors, are you big readers with your kids? What are their favorite books?

NK: Sophie just discovered this book that I’m obsessed with. It’s called Visitor for Bear. It’s about a bear who has a sign on his door saying no visitors allowed and this little mouse just wants to hang out. It is the cutest story and now I need to get her the rest of the series. It’s really funny. Sophie walks around the house going “No visitors allowed!” “Vamoose!” “This is insufferable” “Intolerable!”

EM: My son is going through, as they all do, a huge vehicle phase. Mostly it’s about looking at vehicles and choosing our favorites and me being told what my favorite is when it’s not. The Richard Scarry books, like Things That Go, anything with tons of pictures. We recently got into a series called Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. If I could give a shoutout to anything in the childhood world I have to say Daniel Tiger. I want to write a love letter to everyone on that staff. It is so perfectly thoughtfully lovingly done. And as a parent it is the one thing out of everything that we dip in to that really helps.

Watch this video to hear more from Emma and Nicola about their journey from Nanny til now.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

The Facebook-Free Baby
Are you a mom or dad who’s guilty of ‘oversharenting’? The cure may be to not share at all.

Child Care Cost Hikes Derailing Women’s Careers
At a time when women’s issues have become a political football in the national arena, many states have been chipping away at funds aimed at supporting working mothers and families, even as federal subsidies are drying up and the cost of child care is climbing.

Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?
Styles of baby names, it seems, are nearly as different in various parts of the country as voting habits. More progressive communities, Laura Wattenberg says, tend to favor more old-fashioned names. Parents in more conservative areas come up with names that are more creative or androgynous.

Crib Products May Be Deadly, Experts Say
There’s a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying more and more babies are suffocating while sleeping, and they’re warning parents to keep cribs empty.

High School Teens Make “No Tanning” Pledge Before Prom
Students at Maynard High School in Massachusetts made good on a “no tanning before prom” pledge at the event last Friday.

Parents Beware: If Your Teens Party, You Could Pay the Price
States have different “social host laws” and under some of them, a parent can face criminal charges and hefty fines if an accident occurs as a result of any underage drinking at your home. Even if, say, you’re away on vacation and have no idea that anything is going down in the first place.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

CDC: 1 in 88 US Kids Have Autism
A new government report says autism is more common than previously thought, burdening as many as 1 in 88 children.

School Bans Disabled Girl From Using Walker
Kristi Roberts was stunned when school officials insisted that her disabled 5-year-old daughter switch to a wheelchair from the walker she’d been using for the previous two years.

Hepatitis B Program Helps Cut Infant Infections
A program to prevent chronic hepatitis B infection in newborns seems to be working, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When Do Babies Stop Being So Darned Cute? Age 4 ½, Scientists Say
The stage between preschool and kindergarten marks the point at which little kids are no longer considered unbearably adorable. Or at least that’s what the research shows.

Women Turn to Social Media for Support After Pregnancy Loss
Webber is one of a growing number of women who share pregnancy news with “their closest 500 friends” on social networks such as Facebook.

High Schools Have Dress Codes for Prom Gowns
Schools from Connecticut to Arizona are responding to risqué prom dresses with elaborate dress codes.

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