Mom and teenage son having a discussion.

Much of our society is “set it and forget it.” Our appliances turn on and off automatically, our bills are set to autopay, our cars can park themselves, and that makes it easy to forget that some of what we do must be hands-on. And while parental control apps can help with monitoring kids’ internet use, they’re only one piece of the equation.

Teen sitting on a couch reading a book.

As long as there have been children, books, and something to distract them from reading, there has been concern that children aren’t reading enough. The latest “something” is the smartphone and the tablet. But are screens denting children’s literary skills, or is the concern overblown? The answer is more complicated than you think.

Mother and daughter looking at a cell phone together.

In simpler times, if you wanted to get away from your peers, it was easy enough. You just left the room, ignored the phone, and did something else. Now, though, we’ve all got smartphones in our pockets, including our children, and peer pressure can follow us everywhere we go. How is technology changing peer pressure, and how can we counteract it?

Location tracking used properly as part of a parental control app, can mean parents have reassurance at their fingertips. Here are some quick tips on how to go about using geolocation.

Teen girl taking a photo with mom.

Back in 2011, a viral story made the rounds of an eight-year-old girl racking up a $1400 bill on a video game called “Smurf’s Village.” The game used in-app purchases and sold its users “Smurfberries” to speed up the game, and the girl, unaware she was racking up a fortune in credit card charges, just kept buying the berries to win. In of itself, it’s a worrying story, and ultimately smartphone companies made sincere efforts to fix the problem, unlike some other issues. Still, the issue remains, and it’s better safe than sorry.

Winter scene with children sledding.

As the snows whirl and the winter rains fall, we all face a familiar conundrum; what to do when we’re stuck indoors. The temptations of screens can be profound in that particular scenario, especially for kids with time on their hands. Good screen management starts with the basics like standard iPhone parental controls and family rules about how much device use is appropriate. Here are some more ways to fight off the temptation to spend snow days staring at screens.

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