Archive for the 'Children’s apps' Category

What kind of cyber parent are you? Limiter, enabler or mentor?

Monday, November 9th, 2015
Grooming children for the social network is a tremendous challenge for the modern parent, largely because mobile connectivity introduces a power crisis that previous generations have not experienced. In many ways we are traveling unchartered territory of the heart and mind when it comes to the choices we make as parents with regard to access and regulated use of technology. Truly whoever has the device must learn how to think like the quarterback.

Simple steps to teach your child to be cyber-safe with texting and social media

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Every day youth are exposed to the latest digital hangouts – most of it is adult swim, content that features bullying (, YikYak), addiction (drugs and alcohol glorified) and exploitation (gratuitous sex and consumer hype). This reality of the cyber realm, this brave new world can be intimidating to confront if you are the parent of a middle schooler. A recent Contra Costa Times article featured awareness with the title: “There is nothing simple about parenting in the digital age”. Well, I beg to differ.

What every parent needs to know about privacy & streaming music on-line

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
The backlash to Spotify’s recent policy change was immediate as users objected to the company’s intent to pursue personal data in the devices and social media apps (friend contacts, and conversations, etc.). Even though the policy may require getting the user’s permission, there is a perceived trust issue.

How to synch up with your child’s on-line experiences

Monday, July 27th, 2015
Modern youth are relying upon multiple channels of cyber communication to stay connected socially. Their preferred apps range from Instagram and Facebook to instant messaging/texting media sites like Twitter, Kik and SnapChat – none of which require an account with an ISP to sign up for services. It is possible to establish accounts without parental consent or knowledge. Any internet-enabled device will do.

Would an interactive, ‘smart teddy bear’ from Google be a good thing?

Monday, May 25th, 2015
Keep in mind that parenting is something that is done for and with your child, not to them. Parenthood is not a service, but a divine appointment; it is a personal engagement that cannot be replaced by the device, toy or any other innovation of convenience or entertainment.

Using your mobile phone as a ‘shut up’ toy? Try this instead

Monday, March 9th, 2015
We know that during early childhood years the brain is developing capacity to bond as a human in social relationships, starting with family and care givers. The bonding that happens at a neurological level through the production of oxytocin, a bonding hormone which fosters a sense of connectedness to another caring human being, requires human-to-human contact. There is no doubt that devices at an early age can interfere with the process of strengthening the parent-child bond, and potentially the child’s ability to relate to others in a trustworthy way.

Cyber-safe tips for choosing children’s apps

Monday, February 2nd, 2015
The internet is an open environment and it is relatively easy to create and market apps globally, so parents must be vigilant about knowing that the apps that are downloaded for their children and family are coming from trusted resources. The FTC has recently issued a warning to a Chinese children’s app developer, BabyBus, that several of its apps violate the Child On Line Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which mandates developers comply with the COPPA Rule’s notice that includes verifiable parental consent, and other requirements. According to Inside Privacy, some of the BabyBus apps collect precise geolocation information that is shared with third parties, such as advertising networks and/or analytics companies which is a violation of COPPA. According to a recent NetworkedWorld report, Twitter claims that there is no sign up process to access the new Kid’s Vine app, and they are not collecting any personal data from the user but it is not clear whether they are COPPA compliant.

Choosing the right devices for your child and family

Monday, January 12th, 2015
Last week CES 2015 unveiled a lot of new gadgets and devices. Virtually everything in the daily life of family and business can be connected to the web. This includes our children’s beds, wrist watches and glasses. More than ever we are challenged to discern the where, when, how and why we would decide gather and share personal data ranging from videos to photos and thoughts. Internet connectivity is a ubiquitous, integral part of daily life. And when it comes to purchasing a mobile device for your child, there are a lot of choices and considerations ranging from smart phones to tablets and mobile PCs, like Microsoft Surface. How can a parent make a good choice? Is it based upon what the child wants or what is popular among their peers?

How to manage age-appropriate content on family devices and apps

Monday, December 1st, 2014
Christmas is on the horizon, and many parents are faced with important decisions about the purchase of devices for children who are always very eager to jump into the cyber social realm of apps and games long before many parents are confident about managing their on-line experiences. No doubt the management of content with the diversity of devices and apps can feel confusing and overwhelming at times. Every device and every app has its own arrangement of security functions and permissions to navigate, and the stakes are high for very young hearts and minds who also need to learn how to establish healthy boundaries using this technology.

A parents’ guide to social media

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Parental control settings have limited value, more like the training wheels on a bike. Before long the child will master the device and the controls. Parental controls have value as instructive ways to engage and maintain an ongoing dialog with the child about purpose-driven use of the cyber tools. When the use of parental controls are perceived as training wheels to help the child develop their own self control essential to be secure in the network, the signal conveyed to the child is one of confidence in their ability to become a responsible user. And so the aim of parenting with parental controls is to prepare the child to be in control, and for the parent to monitor in age-appropriate ways.

Latest News

Go to Core Connectivity to see current articles and resources.

About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.