Examining adolescent screen time: surprising stats on television and computer usage

Examining adolescent screen time: surprising stats on television and computer usage
Wondering what adolescents’ screen time looks like these days? I was surprised to learn that kids spend more time on screens than they do in school, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  In fact, time spent with media takes up more of their time than any other activity other than sleeping, according to a study... Read more »

A patriotic quiz for the 4th of July

A patriotic quiz for the 4th of July
Happy birthday, USA! While celebrating Independence Day, there’s often a lot of waiting – for fireworks, for parades to start, for burgers to cook. Pass the time by testing friends and family on their knowledge of our country with this patriotic quiz, or just share some fun trivia about American history. How well do you... Read more »

Good news for parents of unpopular tweens and teens

Good news for parents of unpopular tweens and teens
Popularity isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, especially in middle school. Many a parent has consoled a child who is farther down the social ladder that, in time, they would be happier and more successful than those popular kids who seem to run the school. And now, a new study out backs the... Read more »
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5 reasons photography is a great hobby for kids

5 reasons photography is a great hobby for kids
I’m thrilled to welcome Janet Pliszka, owner Kids Photography Academy, as today’s guest poster who is perfectly qualified to explain why photography is a great hobby for kids, and how several of those benefits are good for the whole family, too. _______________________ Summer is here!   Many parents are dreaming of family bbqs, walks through the... Read more »

Do you know what your tweens and teens share online?

Do you know what your tweens and teens share online?
Earlier this month, McAfee released its annual study examining what tweens and teens do online and how they use social media. They conduct their survey on an annual basis and reported this year’s finding in the study 2014 Teens and the Screen study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying. Here are some of the... Read more »

A love letter to the late 1980s

Really, all the National Lampoons movies from the 80s are great, but Christmas Vacation, released in 1989, is a film that always makes me laugh, and the ability to quote it to this day and know that family and friends understand what I'm saying give it a special place in my heart.
Dear 1980′s, I just wanted to let you know that, no matter what, you were and always will be my favorite decade. My affinity is particularly strong for the latter half of you, the glorious late 1980s. I am so very grateful that you bore witness to my sometimes rather horrifying tween awkwardness and yet... Read more »
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Atlas shrugs: My tween says my affinity for maps and the atlas makes me a dinosaur

Atlas shrugs: My tween says my affinity for maps and the atlas makes me a dinosaur
“Is that a road atlas?” one of the four girls I was driving to camp asked from the back seat, her voice dripping with confusion, shock and dismay. “Yes. It’s my mom’s, she won’t go anywhere without it,” my tween answered, as clearly the question was aimed at her, not me. (I don’t know why... Read more »

Do you know who is videotaping your child at the park?

Do you know who is videotaping your child at the park?
A lot of kids have smartphones. And every smart phone has a video camera. Have you talked with your tweens and teens about when it is appropriate to take video of other people? My daughter and her best friend were at our home playing earlier this week. It was a nice enough day, so I... Read more »

Tween on the tee: Lucy Li, 11 year-old golf phenom, takes on the U.S. Open

Tween on the tee: Lucy Li, 11 year-old golf phenom, takes on the U.S. Open
Lucy Li is a typical tween in many respects. The sixth grader has braces, wears zebra print tops and polka dot skirts, and rocks a mean high pony tail. She lists her interests as painting, swimming, and dancing. Her golf skills, however, set her apart from every other tween in the world. On Thursday, Li... Read more »
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Q&A with a ChicagoNow blogger: Denise Williams of Uncommon Sense

There are hundreds of ChicagoNow bloggers who cover a wide variety of topics, each with his/her own viewpoint. Today, our community manager has paired us up with another blogger and we are each conducting a Q&A session with them and sharing them and their blog.  You can find all of the ChicagoNow blogger interviews here.... Read more »