After a few recent warm days, we optimistically went out and bought our son a bigger bike. They guy at the store says he’ll “grow into it.” It is so big that I can ride it. After all, he’s only about two inches shorter than his mom as a just-turned-twelve year old.
He’s still getting used to the bike. The wobbly start feels like a metaphor for challenges of re-entry as we start to cautiously socialize outdoors after a cold and isolating winter. For kids thrust back into the daily thrum of school, it can be a little overwhelming. Remember, everyone else is a little rusty, too.
The bigger bike our son is adjusting to also feels like a metaphor for smartphones: powerful machines that we give to kids, often at about that age. Their first efforts may be wobbly. They will need mentoring and possibly some training wheels to get good at using these sophisticated communication devices.
Luckily, if you are reading this, you have lots of great resources for mentoring tweens through that transition and many others as they grow up in the digital world.
Resources for you
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. My days are full with supervising zoom school, taking walks and writing my new book and my evenings are spent zooming into different communities to talk about pandemic screen time, games, kid’s friendship and finding a balance.
Some communities are back to school in-person, others are hybrid, and others (like us) are still doing remote learning. I’ve zoomed into Boston, Indiana, Brooklyn, and Seattle and families are grappling with transition and new decisions everywhere. The Q and A period of every talk has been filled with great questions from families.
Here are some resources that respond to these inquiries and to recent events:
- My friend Christine Koh wrote this for CNN: How parents can support kids through (and beyond) the latest wave of anti-Asian American violence
- Here’s helpful update about YouTube controls.
- Here’s a great guide for parents concerned about kids getting sucked into conspiracy theories, seeming memes that may promote racism etc. on Youtube, Reddit, etc.
- For teens who seem hopelessly behind in school right now: How to Help a Teen Out of a Homework Hole
- For some fun-spiration: How a family roller disco saved our winter by Samantha Shanley
Finally, I am looking to talk more people for my next book:
- A teen (maybe yours) who has taken a grading app (like Powerschool) or a social media app (like Tik Tok or SnapChat) off of their phone?
- A teen or college student (maybe yours) who has kept up a romantic relationship during quarantine.
- A teacher or parent with strong feelings about Class Dojo or another behavior monitoring app