August 03, 2021
Parenting can be an isolating thing. They say raising a child takes a village, but for parents, it can sometimes feel like an island - especially after a year like this.
If that sounds familiar, well, you’re not alone in feeling alone. A survey conducted in the midst of COVID last year by AEI found that over 40% of parents reported feeling isolated or lonely more than a few times a week - more than adults without children. Not surprisingly, another analysis of survey data from over 400,000 mothers last year estimated that 9.8 million working moms were experiencing burnout. These kinds of numbers point to a simple reality: parents need help.
Here at COSMO, we’re absolutely committed to coming alongside incredible parents and guardians - and best of all, it’s not just us! While the digital world can be a scary place for kids and families today, it’s also a rich one filled with so many passionate people and innovative organizations providing support and helping kids thrive.
But knowing where to start can be the hard part. That’s why we’re here to help! We’ve highlighted five of our absolute favorite resources - both nonprofits and companies - helping parents navigate the digital world with kids. Be sure to check them out and be sure to share with us on Facebook or Instagram what resources you love most!
START makes a great point: for the very first time, parents and guardians are having to ask questions like “When should I get my kid a cell phone? How much screen time is too much?” What we often forget is that this is new! And that’s why START is on a mission to provide parents with the real life, practical guidance, advice, and resources they need in the midst of this brave new world.
START has a deep trove of high quality resources, from their programs for families, to expert perspectives and recommended resources and products. We especially love START’s helpful framework that encourages families to “use a driver’s ed approach to tech training” - starting with safe, simple, technology that helps parents guide and promote good habits.
In our fast-paced world, it can often feel impossible to keep up - and that’s especially true when it comes to parents who are trying to navigate the world of media and technology for their kids. Enter Common Sense Media - a non-profit organization that helps parents stay up to speed on all things media, technology, and entertainment. With expert family-safe reviews, guides, and more, Common Sense Media is always on top of the latest.
As their website says, Common Sense Media is on a mission to build “a digital world that works better for all kids, their families, and their communities.” That’s a mission we love! And as a parent or guardian you won’t find a better one-stop-shop when trying to make smart, safe decisions for the digital world in your home.
Can’t Miss Resources for Parents
We love CSM’s “Best of” lists! Looking for some new movie ideas? Check out their Best Movies and TV Shows Now Streaming for Kids.
Jellies knows something that may seem obvious, but big tech usually forgets: algorithms are no replacement for good parents. While there are no shortage of new parental controls or services claiming to auto-vet unsafe content for kids, the reality is, most fall short. That’s why Jellies stands out as a go-to option for parents looking for a safe content for intentional screen time. Jellies curates kids videos that are actually human-reviewed, ad-free, and community driven, all with solid parental controls.
Having real parents reviewing quality content shouldn’t be a radical idea, but these days, it actually is. We love both the mission for quality and community that Jellies is all about - oh and the fun videos that parents just might like too!
Check out the Jellies blog for all kinds of helpful and interesting content!
If you’re wondering whether HealthyChildren.org is a helpful resource, just ask 67,000 pediatricians for their perspective. That’s right - this wonderful organization and website powered by the American Academy of Pediatricians provides a treasure trove of great data, perspectives, tips, and more for raising kiddos at any age. Their Media section in particular has many great resources specifically geared to helping parents navigate the challenges of the digital world.
Parents and guardians know that raising healthy kids isn’t just managing screen time or even healthy eating. It’s holistic and that’s why we love the 360 degree resources for all stages available at HealthyChildren.org. It’s a perfect stop for parents who are looking for a deeper dive all all sorts of topics to help kids and families thrive today.
Among many great reads within the Media section, be sure to check out the article Keeping Technology in Check: Mindful Technology Use DOs for Parents - we love the affirmation of things to parents can DO, not just avoid when it comes to screens.
Ok Play is on a mission to reimagine kids’ media and they’re starting with an app that is pure magic. Co-founded by a team of child development, media, and technology experts, Ok Play aims to - as their website says - transform “mindless screen time into rich learning opportunities for children's positive social and emotional growth.” Their interactive storytelling app allows kids and families to create, star in, and share their own stories using photos, video, drawing, and more.
The Ok Play team, led by Chief Scientist Dr. Colleen Russo Johnson, believes that being intentional with screens is more helpful than cut and paste rules. We love how their innovative app gives wings to kid’s imagination and encourages family engagement along the way. It’s so important for parents to have great options to turn to when it’s the right time for screen time.
This one is sweet and simple - the Ok Play app itself! You can find it for iOS or Android anywhere you get apps.
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