As your kids grow older, their gift requests may start to look a lot different than when they were younger. While they once circled all the toys in the holiday catalogues that arrived at the door, now they are sending parents text messages or Google Docs with links to their wish list items.

father daughter tablet holidaysMany families have media traditions around the holidays – whether that’s watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together or staging a Mario Kart tournament on New Year’s Day. It’s great to make media a family activity, and it’s also an opportunity to co-view with your kids.

If you have children who have access to a phone and the ability to text, you may be venturing into a completely new area of communication with them. Have you noticed emoji replies? Or abbreviated statements? GIF-only responses or memes that you have to Google to understand? You aren’t alone.

So what should parents make of this?  

Matthew JohnsonThey say the future comes when you aren’t looking. This Media Literacy Week, we are reflecting on how the pandemic has changed how we interact with media and each other. Certainly a few years ago, not many of us could have imagined we’d be spending a fair portion of our lives doing video chats, which were considered obsolete and mostly reserved for keeping in touch with friends and family far away.

Lynn JataniaRecently our youngest, who is 14, decided she wanted to watch Keeping Up with The Kardashians. 

 

 

 

 

Lynn JataniaOur youngest is about to turn 14, and that means it’s time for the last member of our family to get her own cell phone.

We decided back when our oldest was heading off to high school that age 14, Grade 9, is cell phone time for our family. We’ve been happy with that decision – it seemed like the right time in terms of maturity, and also it became clear that having a phone to use in class at high school was beneficial and even expected.

Lynn JataniaOur older two teens are close to finishing high school, and we’re starting to think about moving them into the adult phase of their lives. That means managing their own online presence and technology, and making sure they have full ownership of their profiles.

And that led to the big password talk.

Lynn JataniaI feel like I should knock wood when I say this, but it feels like maybe, someday, this lockdown might be over.

We’re still in rocky days as I write this, with active cases not dropping off as much as we all would like, and shops and attractions not as open as we would hope. But the vaccine is getting out there, albeit slowly, and some of the people we know have even received it already. Progress is being made, and we can start to dream of a time when life opens up again and we feel safer and more able to do the things we love to do.

Lynn JataniaAn interesting thing happened the other day. My husband was talking about some recent political events in the United States, and my kids and I didn’t know what he was talking about.

 

Lynn JataniaThis past December, my two daughters and I fell down the BTS rabbit hole.

BTS is a Korean K-Pop band that has been slowly taking over the universe since 2013. Their music can be heard worldwide, and in recent years they’ve made appearances on American late-night talk shows and on the American charts, while selling millions of records internationally.

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