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Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Jan 14, 2020. 12 comments

How Do You Navigate Play Dates When You're a 'Device-Free' Family?

How Do You Navigate Play Dates When You're a 'Device-Free' Family?
Parental AdvisoryParental AdvisoryTackling your most pressing parenting dilemmas, one tantrum at a time. Email your kid-rearing questions to mwalbert@lifehacker.com with "Parental Advisory" in the subject line.Prev NextView All

As screen-free as you and your little kids may be (or you may want them to be), there comes a point when even the devices of others become unavoidable. You may not...

12 Comments

David Murphy David Murphy Dec 14, 2019. 4 comments

How to Keep Kids From Bypassing iOS 13.3's Communication Limits

How to Keep Kids From Bypassing iOS 13.3's Communication Limits

When we got all excited about Apple’s new Communication Limits that allow you to restrict who your kid can talk to (and when), we didn’t realize Apple left a big loophole that makes it very easy for your crafty child to bypass these restrictions.

The Communication Limits allow parents to limit who their kids can talk to at any point (everyone, or just people on their kid’s contact list), and...

4 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Nov 21, 2019.

How to Introduce Your Kid to the Wild World of Social Media

How to Introduce Your Kid to the Wild World of Social Media

One of the trickiest parts of parenting is teaching our kids how to safely do things that have a great potential for harming them. It starts with teaching them to use scissors safely when they’re preschoolers, then sharp knives to cut their own food and, before we know it, how to drive a car. We don’t like it but we do it because we know the alternative—that they do these things without ever...

Abu Zafar Abu Zafar Nov 06, 2019. 14 comments

How to Stop Staring at Your Phone All Day

How to Stop Staring at Your Phone All Day

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone recently without looking at a screen? I’d wager, for most people, the answer is just a few minutes or even seconds.

According to the 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, adults spend over 11 hours per day interacting with media, most of it in front of screens. Assuming that we’re all getting a full 8 hours of beauty sleep, that’s nearly 70% of our...

14 Comments

Abu Zafar Abu Zafar Oct 30, 2019. 16 comments

What's the Big Deal About Dark Mode?

What's the Big Deal About Dark Mode?

Embrace your dark side.

Or don’t. It’s really up to you. In the video above, I discuss two big misconceptions about dark mode (battery life improvements and reduced eye strain) and break down why the long-awaited feature might be a bit overrated.

Quick Fix is a video series where I tackle your most commonly asked tech questions in 90 seconds or less. If you have a ...

16 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Sep 06, 2019. 13 comments

Move Almost All the Apps Off Your Phone's Home Screen

Move Almost All the Apps Off Your Phone's Home Screen

I’m on my cell phone too much. I know, it’s a unique problem to have, but I’ve had enough of the mindless scrolling through social media. Anytime I have to wait a minute or two for anything, out comes my phone and I’m tap-tap-tapping out of habit, now looking at the second photos of everyone’s Instagram posts because I’ve already scrolled past them once.

On the other hand, I’m not so fed up...

13 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Aug 29, 2019.

How to Set YouTube Kids' New Content Filter for Preschoolers

How to Set YouTube Kids' New Content Filter for Preschoolers

YouTube Kids is breaking its content filters apart again as part of on-going efforts to allow parents to more appropriately manage what their little kids are watching on the app.

Previously, the app had content filters for “younger kids” (ages 8 and under) and “older kids” (ages 12 and under). The new content levels are organized this way, according to YouTube:

Preschool (ages 4 and under):...
Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Aug 22, 2019. 20 comments

Keep These Apps Off Your Kid's Phone

Keep These Apps Off Your Kid's Phone

No matter how long you manage to hold them off, at some point, your kids will have their own electronic devices, and they’ll use those devices to communicate with others. First with friends and family, but eventually with strangers, too.

Educating our kids about internet safety is an important and ongoing part of keeping them safe, but parents also have to stay up to date on the latest apps...

20 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Aug 10, 2019. 6 comments

How to Measure Your Kid's Attachment to Screens

How to Measure Your Kid's Attachment to Screens

From the first time we prop them in front of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to scarf down our dinner in peace to when they lock themselves in their room to play Fortnite for hours on end, parents are frequently asking themselves, “How much is too much screen time?”

Whether or not kids can truly become addicted to screens (in the same way we think about addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling) is...

6 Comments

Michelle Woo Michelle Woo Apr 19, 2019. 11 comments

How to End Your Kid's Screen Time Without a Meltdown

How to End Your Kid's Screen Time Without a Meltdown

The worst thing about letting my daughter watch a few shows is having to turn off those shows. It’s not so bad now that she’s 6, but at around 3, it was intense. I’d brace myself every time I’d enter the zone—that space between her eyeballs and the television. Standing in a place where she’d see me, I’d give her the warning: “Five more minutes, okay?” She’d nod her head and then motion for me...

11 Comments

Michelle Woo Michelle Woo Mar 21, 2019. 4 comments

You Can Watch 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' Episodes Online 

You Can Watch 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' Episodes Online 

Today is the birthday of Fred Rogers, the man who taught us how to look for the helpers, who understood the power of play before it became a national prescription, who could rock a zip-up sweater made by his mother like nobody’s business. I miss him, and I miss his show.

While you can find Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes on PBS Kids, Amazon Prime Video and iTunes, you can also now watch...

4 Comments

Tim Donnelly Tim Donnelly Mar 20, 2019. 16 comments

How to Survive the 2020 Presidential Campaign Without Losing Your Mind 

How to Survive the 2020 Presidential Campaign Without Losing Your Mind 

From the makers of Campaign Season 2016, get ready for the not-that-new-and-definitely not improved Campaign Season 2020! This bad boy’s got all the things you hated about the last season, juiced up with even more features scientifically designed to drive you mad, from bad-faith arguments to anti-intellectualism. Plus we’ve got so many brand-new features designed to increase your stress...

16 Comments

Christine Burke Christine Burke Dec 17, 2018. 6 comments

Give Kids Unlimited Screen Time—But Only After They've Completed Their Daily Activities

Give Kids Unlimited Screen Time—But Only After They've Completed Their Daily Activities

As a parent who works from home, screen time is always a topic of discussion in our household, especially during summer and winter breaks. Because my work requires me to actually concentrate without the sounds of kids asking for snacks and bickering over who has control of the Netflix queue, I had to come up with a strategy that worked for everyone. And, a few summers ago, I had a stroke of...

6 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Dec 04, 2018. 20 comments

Should You Make Your Kids Wait Until High School for a Cell Phone?

Should You Make Your Kids Wait Until High School for a Cell Phone?

Getting a cell phone has become something of a childhood rite of passage. Parents often struggle with how soon is too soon, with the average child now receiving their first phone at age 10 and their first social media accounts by age 12.

But leaders in the technology industry are pushing back against this new norm by keeping phones out of their own kids’ hands until their teenage...

20 Comments

David Murphy David Murphy Sep 28, 2018. 5 comments

Apple's Screen Time Report Is Not Accurate for Tracking Your Habits

Apple's Screen Time Report Is Not Accurate for Tracking Your Habits

iOS 12 is out , and a lot of people are suddenly realizing that they spend way too much time on their smartphones. Way. Too. Much. Time. That’s all thanks to the Screen Time feature you’ll find within your device’s Settings menu—right under “Do Not Disturb.” Tap it, and your iPhone or iPad will give you all sorts of scary information: How many hours you’ve spent glued to it, what you did, and...

5 Comments

Michelle Woo Michelle Woo Sep 22, 2018. 9 comments

Here's What You Can Do With Apple's New iOS 12 Parental Controls 

Here's What You Can Do With Apple's New iOS 12 Parental Controls 

Parents, to curb your kid’s phone usage, you may no longer need to hold their chargers hostage, yell out nightly countdowns (“Three more minutes!”) or draft up elaborate tech contracts that you’ll look at exactly once. At least, if you’re on Apple devices. The new iOS 12 parental controls are here, and they allow you to manage your children’s screen time—set app time limits, block off chunks...

9 Comments

Michelle Woo Michelle Woo Sep 11, 2018. 3 comments

I'm Caroline Ingeborn, President and COO of Toca Boca, and This Is How I Parent 

I'm Caroline Ingeborn, President and COO of Toca Boca, and This Is How I Parent 
How I ParentThere’s no one-size-fits-all template for parenting—here’s how some moms and dads are making it work.  

Caroline Ingeborn is the president and chief operating officer of Toca Boca, which makes digital toys designed around the way kids play. (My five-year-old loves giving buzzcuts in Toca Hair Salon, bandaging doves in Toca Pet Doctor and making weird milkshake concoctions in Toca...

3 Comments

Michelle Woo Michelle Woo Aug 12, 2018. 13 comments

How to Play Fortnite With Your Kids

How to Play Fortnite With Your Kids

Frickin’ Fortnite. Your kids won’t stop playing it, and you’re fed up. What do you do? You could join one of the many parent support groups, or make a musical parody to vent your frustrations, or try locking the game consoles in the car and hiding the key (yes, this is really happening).

Or you can play, too.

I’m not kidding. Maybe you rolled your eyes at the Wall Street Journal report...

13 Comments

Emily Price Emily Price Aug 06, 2018. 1 comments

Be More Mindful of the Time You Waste Online With HabitLab

Be More Mindful of the Time You Waste Online With HabitLab

You may want to spend less time of sites like Facebook and YouTube, but actually doing it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. HabitLab is an open-source project from Stanford that attempts to make cutting back on habit-forming sites a little bit easier.

How it does that is a bit unique. Rather than simply blocking the sites you want to stay away from, the Chrome extension uses tools like...

1 Comments

Meghan Moravcik Walbert Meghan Moravcik Walbert Jul 03, 2018.

Gain Control Over Screen Time This Summer With a 'Family Media Plan'

Gain Control Over Screen Time This Summer With a 'Family Media Plan'

Even just a couple of years ago, the message to new parents was pretty clear: Screens, for the most part, aren’t good for kids, so stay away. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that kids not experience any screen time until at least age two, and then after that, they suggested keeping it very limited.

But as media becomes more and more pervasive in our everyday lives, parents...

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