Smart Home Media Use, Limiting Screen Time illustr by Jennifer MillerHow do you walk that fine line between trust and monitoring with your children’s use of the media? The following are helpful supports as you raise children in our digital age.


Common Sense Media
You’ll be able to find age-appropriate movies, books, apps, TV shows, video games, websites, and music that kids will enjoy. This website has over 20,000 reviews by age, entertainment type, learning rating, genre and other filters. It provides information on content that may concern you including violence and scariness, sexuality and language but also, on positive messages, role models and educational value.


Screen It
A Movie Review site for parents where you can type in a movie’s title and get a review on it. You do get a free sample, but this site then does require a membership.


The TV Boss
A website and an app that lets you set controls on your cable device and also gives you the meaning of TV ratings in full detail.

TV Parental Guidelines
Another website that lets you set parental controls on your TV and helps you understand how to use them, and understand TV ratings.Navigating TV P2 Illust 001

Prime Time Television Family Guide
A family guide to Prime Time Television with a rating legend that gives you information on whether a show may be for parents only, adult-oriented themes, family-friendly or unrated.

Television, Navigating our Global Neighborhood
This is part one of a two part series, Confident Parents, Confident Kids interviews television producer, David L. Smith. He discusses the use of television with children, how much is too much and how can it be used for positive enrichment.

Television; Navigating the Content of our Global Neighborhood
An article interview on CPCK with David L. Smith, Professor Emeritus on Television Production. Part two in this series, he discusses how to know what kinds of content your child is ready for and how to utilize television and movie ratings and more.

Better TV, Better Kids
An article discussing how certain TV shows can have a positive impact on young children, such as higher GPAs and higher achievement goals, while other television shows may have a more negative impact, such as violence or bad eating habits.


Trust, Teens and Technology
Trust, Teens and Tech by Guest Blogger, Amy Williams for Confident Parents, Confident Kids writes about how to promote a trusting relationship with your teenager in Trust, Teens and Tech by Jennifer Millerconcert with monitoring social media involvement.

Smart Home Media Use: Limiting Screen Time
How do you manage media in your home? Do your kids fight you when it’s time to turn screens off? Get informed about screen impacts and learn ways to work with your family cooperatively on managing time in front of screens.

Digital Age Bullying and Prevention
An article on Edutopia (the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s site) that describes how bullying online and ways to prevent it from happening.

The Internet and Your Family
An article from with tips and tools on how to make sure you and your family’s experience on the Internet is safe, educational, and fun.


Mindful Family App

Check out this wonderful new app by creators, Jannik and Pia Holgerson of Denmark. I love that the nature sounds, guided meditations, and sleep meditations can be used by myself, with my son, or with my whole family. Download is free. Some meditations are premium.

This site’s star ratings are based on how well an application is designed for families.

Moms With Apps
Moms With Apps for Special Needs
This site was developed by a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.

Touch and Go – School Library Journal
This site is a guide to the best apps and enhanced books for children and teens.


Entertainment Software Rating Board
This site has a section particularly written for parents to understand the type of content that will be viewed in a video game. Search for popular titles and find parent-friendly reviews.


How Do You Teach Your Child to be a Responsible Digital Citizen?

by Guest Writer, Ruth Dearing

If only I had a penny for every time I’ve been asked this question! It’s a big question most parents have, and unfortunately, there is no simple answer. There are lots of factors to take into consideration that work together to help a child become a responsible digital citizen, and we’ll look at a few of these now.

What Is A Responsible Digital Citizen?

According to wikiHow, “Being a responsible digital citizen means using technology appropriately and operating online safely and knowledgeably” ( Clear as mud, right? What does “using technology appropriately” mean? And what’s involved in “operating online safely and knowledgeably”? No wonder parents are confused!

A more helpful explanation of responsible digital citizenship can be found at, where they explain that responsible digital citizenship means:

  • cultivating the social skills to take part in online community life in an ethical and respectful way
  • behaving lawfully
  • protecting your own as well as other people’s privacy
  • recognizing your rights and responsibilities when online, and
  • thinking about the impact of what you do online — on yourself, other people you know, and the wider online community        Read the full article.

Smart Home Media Use: Limiting Screen Time

The second day of school my son brought home a short booklet that was to be signed by all family members. It was the technology policy for his school. Covering every facet of screen interaction, each statement began with “No….” It is indeed critical for each school to have a policy on how technology is used. But in family life, the policy, or “rules” around screen time are just not enough. I began asking, what do kids know about screens, their effects and why they should be limited? How are children taught to interact with screens – what to do in addition to what not to do? As I was asking these questions, two friends, also readers, got in touch and asked whether I had any written media agreement for a family. I promised that I would research and work on one so that all could benefit including my own family. Read the full article.

© Copyright, 2022, Jennifer Smith Miller. All rights reserved.

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