Recommendations by Common Sense Media®
How can I tell if an app or a website is really good for learning?
Despite the claims of certain products that they teach your baby to read or do math, media that’s really good for learning may not produce immediate, observable results. Instead, websites and apps with the most learning potential help your child
How do I keep my kid safe on the internet?
Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It’s about helping your kids use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior — especially when you’re not there to answer their questions or check
17 apps and websites kids are heading to after Facebook
Gone are the days of Facebook as a one-stop shop for all social-networking needs. While it may seem more complicated to post photos on Instagram, share casual moments on Snapchat, text on WhatsApp, and check your Twitter feed throughout the
How can I make sure my kid doesn’t get addicted to technology?
It’s unlikely that your kid will become addicted to technology. A person with an addiction can’t stop doing something that is extremely harmful, despite severe negative consequences. But you’re right to be concerned. According to a Common Sense Media poll,
What can I tell my kid to do if he or she is being cyberbullied?
Kids may not always recognize teasing as bullying. Some kids also may be too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it. That’s why it’s important to talk about online and digital behavior before your child starts interacting
Parents’ ultimate guide to Snapchat
If you have tweens or teens, you know about Snapchat. And if you can’t figure out how it works, you’re like many parents. One of the most popular social media apps out there, Snapchat gives kids and teens what they
How to talk to teens about dealing with online predators
Use this script to kick off a conversation with your kid. We might not want to think about our kids dealing with creepy people online. But for many parents, it’s the scariest thing about our kids’ digital lives. Although only
How do I protect my kid’s privacy online?
First, there are two kinds of online privacy. Personal privacy refers to your kid’s online reputation, and consumer privacy (also known as customer privacy) refers to the data companies can collect about your kid during an online interaction or transaction.
Is it OK for me to read my kids’ text messages on their phones?
Parents: there’s no absolute right answer as to whether it’s OK to read your kid’s text messages. It depends on your kid’s age, personality, and behavior. The most important thing is that you discuss responsible texting behavior. Remind them that
The facts about online predators every parent should know
Every parent worries about online predators at some point. And while it’s smart to be cautious, the facts show that it’s actually fairly rare for kids to be contacted by adult strangers seeking sexual communication. Of course it’s natural to
Guide to managing media for tweens and teens
With kids consuming more media than ever before, parents need new rules for how to manage it. Today’s kids are immersed in media. More than ever before, tweens and teens are watching, reading, listening, creating, and communicating throughout their entire
Why the best parental control is you
Instead of flipping a switch, be the voice in their head. If your kid’s online, there have probably been times when you’ve wanted to track everything they’ve texted, see their entire social media history, or just shut off the internet
How should my kid respond to haters and trolls online?
Those folks who make cruel remarks just to stir the pot are everywhere. Kids are affected by this to varying degrees, depending on many factors, including a kid’s age, his or her level of sensitivity, the severity of the comments,
What should parents know about Instagram?
Kids and teens love using the photo-sharing app Instagram because it lets you apply cool effects and captions to your photos and videos and easily share them across a number of social media platforms. The ability to quickly change the
What age should my kids be before I let them use Instagram, Facebook, and other social media services?
How old your kid should be before he or she starts using social media with your permission is really up to you. Most social media websites and apps require that kids be 13 to sign up. Despite what many think,
Do I need to use parental controls for my young kids online?
Some very basic parental controls are a good idea, are simple to set, and will put you at ease. These can be as basic as using safe search on Google or installing a basic content filter on your web browser.
A parents’ ultimate guide to YouTube
Smosh, Good Mythical Morning, Markiplier — the names may not mean much to you, but chances are your kids are on a first-name basis. Their funny hosts, off-the-cuff commentary, silly antics, and bewildering (to adults) subject matter put them among
5 strategies for getting kids off devices
“Just a sec,” say nine out of 10 parents answering an email when their kid asks them for something. If it’s hard for us to jump out of the digital world, just imagine you’re 3 and the lines between fantasy
If my kid needs to use the computer for school, how do I make sure he’s not wasting time on other stuff?
Discuss your concerns with your kid and talk about ways to structure homework time that work for everyone. Consider asking your kids to write down assignments and have them check each off as they finish them. Talk about how it
Is watching TV really bad for kids?
It depends on how much and what kind of TV. There are certainly plenty of wonderful TV shows for kids of all ages — and if you’re choosing high-quality, age-appropriate programs, minimizing exposure to advertising, and making sure kids have
How do I talk to my kid about internet porn?
There’s no sugarcoating it: It’s easy for kids to find porn online, even through completely innocent searches. Many parents find themselves confronting this issue much sooner than they imagined, with kids who may not even understand exactly what sex is.
How to raise a reader
Ten tips for getting your kids hooked on books — ebooks or the paper kind. Kids become lifelong readers for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes there’s one key book that captures a kid’s imagination and opens him or her up
How much “scary stuff” can my young kid handle?
Some kids like scary stuff, and some kids hate it. Movies with fearsome images, intense danger, loud noises, and — above all — blood and gore can create all sorts of problems, so it’s wise to take it slowly. Children
What type of media is best for learning?
While there’s a big difference between playing Fortnite for an hour and spending an hour learning music composition on YouTube, the truth is, there isn’t one media type that’s better for learning than another one. What really matters is how