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Making room for messiness

June 2, 2014

For the past two weeks we’ve been in the middle of our semi-annual domestic meltdown. Meltdown features include: emergency school visits necessitating precipitous departures from work implementation of new household rules precipitating epically draining tantrums academic and medical appointments requiring multiple (often sudden) scheduling changes. As messy, exhausting and difficult as these periods are, what [...]

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Don’t be scared to Facebook your kids: A response to Amy Webb

September 5, 2013

Amy Webb has written an important but frustrating post on Facebook privacy and kids on the Slate website. Writing about a friend who extensively Facebooks photos and stories about her daughter “Kate”, Webb worries that Kate’s parents have compromised their child’s future autonomy, particularly in light of emergent facial recognition technology that can build profiles based on [...]

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How BrainPop prepared my son for time travel

June 19, 2013

Last night’s bedtime story was “JCat and the Time Machine for Cats”. Like all JCat stories, this one featured JCat traveling to Cupertino with Tim Cook in order to invent something. Happily, I was ready for the request to have a story featuring a time machine, since an end-of-day conversation with colleagues had digressed into [...]

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Stop sibling conflict with a tech-inspired solution

June 17, 2013

Are you tired of listening to your kids argue? Does it seem like a single ill-timed comment can ignite a cascade of escalating attacks and complaints? Are you sick of playing referee? This weekend we came up with an innovative strategy for stopping the sibling conflict cycle. To implement this plan, you need: 1. One [...]

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Hey NSA, even my kids know snooping is creepy

June 12, 2013

This morning’s breakfast conversation: ME: I’m feeling upset about how Barack Obama has been reading all the stuff we’ve been posting online — everywhere except Twitter, which refused to cooperate. SWEETIE: That’s creepy. ME: Good news, though — I blogged your list of feature ideas for Apple. PEANUT: Will Barack Obama read that, too? ME: [...]

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8 kid-inspired features for Apple’s iOS 7

June 11, 2013

For the past couple of years, our kids’ favorite bedtime stories have featured a feline protagonist whose best friend is Apple CEO Tim Cook. In each story, Tim Cook teleports this cat to Cupertino (Apple HQ), where Tim and cat work on various cat-friendly inventions. Naturally, tonight’s story centred on an emergency visit from Tim [...]

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What to tell your kids about dating before the Internet

November 20, 2012

Hey, old people!  By which I mean: hey, people my age! If you’ve been wondering what dating wisdom you can usefully impart to your teenage or soon-to-be teenage kids, you should read Stephanie Martin’s thoughtful post on Dating in the Social Media Age. Stephanie writes: Before, during, and even after dating someone we will all nonchalantly [...]

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Multiplication table app round-up: Blog post wanted

June 4, 2012

Learning multiplication tables ought to be a lot easier — or at least a lot more fun — in the age of the iPad and iPhone. That’s why I’d love someone to write a blog post rounding up different multiplication table apps.

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Stop blaming yourself for your kids’ challenges

April 13, 2012

Today’s practice: Focus on healing your kids, not on figuring out how you’ve damaged them. In the past year a number of very important and dear people in our lives have started or grown their families in a way not everybody knows is possible: by adopting kids who have been living in foster care. In [...]

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Make a family tech schedule

April 11, 2012

Today’s practice: Make a family tech schedule. We recently took the bold, terrifying step of pulling all the gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation and Wii) out of our home media center, and sending them on a vacation to the closet. We took this measure in response to our kid’s increasing obsession with video gaming, and on [...]

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Stop worrying about your kids’ online future

February 29, 2012

I’m one of more than a thousand Internet experts who contributed thoughts about our emergent digital world to the 2012 Elon University-Pew Internet & American Life study on the future of the Internet. My comments were picked up in the Globe and Mail and MindShift, where I got to carry the banner for the pro-digital side of [...]

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