- How to raise successful people
Like it or not, we all have some image in our heads of how we would like to see our kids turn out (and wonder why they turn out the way they do), or, at the very least, how we don't want them to turn out. We want them to be well-rounded emotionally and financially successful as well, so that their lives will be less difficult than our own. Figuring out how to have a positive influence in this direction is a minefield, and often our own perspective as parents isn't broad enough or objective enough to do just the right thing as every turn. But there are a few actionable principles to follow that start for me with the book and concept by Esther Wojcicki, "How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results." Esther's solution is built on five blocks that spell TRICK: trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness. Esther specifies how parents should treat our kids (and ourselves...) for each of the five blocks in order to help them get farther in life. Esther's point of view is super interesting as not only does she use stories from her own childhood and her own "TRICK" parenting (she has three girls: the CEO of YouTube, CEO of 23andMe and a professor), but she also uses stories about the many kids she "TRICK" educated for almost 40 years in a Palo Alto high school. Esther is naturally an advocate of positivity and gladly leading by example as a parent. In a world of smartphones and screens, that means treating our kids more-or-less as equals in the rules and restrictions we set. Obviously not everything can be or will be the same for you and your kids, but the more they see you put down your phone and read a book or take a walk, the more likely they'll feel good and justified about doing that as well. In the end, success is in the eye of the beholder and as Judith Rich-Harris believes, 50% of a child’s personality is genetic and out of our control. But Esther shows us that influence your child is possible and important.
- What should we, as parents, actually do?
⬇ coronavirus update ⬇ While our family is together all the time, staying (isolating...) at home - already or soon - I think that we all should get back to the basic principles shared here below. Then maybe, just maybe, our time together and with the different screens - big and small - in our hands and around us - will even have some positive impact on us parents, and on our kids. ⬆ coronavirus update ⬆ Here's the original text from the times when the corona was mainly known as a beer brand: So, having covered some of the theories and concepts needed to enter the parent-kid smartphone arena, it's time to ask ourselves, "What should we be doing on a practical, actionable level?" Well, here are a few recommendations. But I would like to remind you first that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parenting. Mix and match these suggestions so that you can reach the right solution with your own family. Have an agenda - Don't be like a falling leaf that's guiding by the wind (society, experts, school, peer pressure and of course, your own child). Take control by thinking through your own agenda and implementing it. As long as you have an agenda, you are 90% ready. Positive approach - No, I don't think that everything is rainbows and unicorns when it comes to children and smartphones. This suggestion is more of a general vibe. "...the best way to fight the darkness is to enhance the light," is one of my favorite A.D. Gordon quotes and I've based my own parenting agenda on it, as well as that of the startup I co-founded (Dynamo). It all starts with us - When was the last time your kid saw you enter the house all sweaty after some outdoor activity and leave your phone on the kitchen table or read a book and talk about it with other family members? If we don't behave the way we want our (young) kids to behave - at least on a high level - we can't expect them to behave that way. Setting expectations - This begins with analyzing your own desires and your expectations from yourself. Then define and share your expectations from your child. I recommend to keep it short in the beginning, just one sentence for each expectation and no more than 3 expectations. Patience. Tons of it - Your kids will test you every day, sometimes numerous times a day. Be patient and keep in mind that if you want something very much, like a certain smartphone-related behavior from your kids, over-motivation might be counterproductive. Balance - Explain to your kids that the smartphone isn't good or bad, it's the usage - quantity and quality - that matters. Once your kids understand that you are asking for a balance between different activities rather than prohibiting smartphone activity, you're on the right track. Sign an agreement - Having an agreement with your child serves several purposes, like giving everything and everyone involved a sense of seriousness. It can help you to "blame" the agreement for an action your child dislikes ("take your phone off the dinner table. We all signed the agreement, remember?"). Get a ticket to their world every now and then - Your kids are probably going to be far more digital and tech-savvy than you. As such, they can teach you a lot about their world. Ask them to explain a new game, feature or app they're excited about. Show them that they can teach you something about the world. Technology is here to stay. Let's analyze it, define its boundaries and implement our thoughts and agenda in the best way and at the best pace for our beloved family members. One of the technologies we invented ourselves for ourselves - as the Dynamo teammates have 12 children in total - is our Dynamo Kid app alongside our Dynamo Parent app. Direct iOS and Android links for the Dynamo apps ⬇. ⬇
- How much do you really know about your child's mobile addiction?
It used to be television, then video games. Before those, it was probably radio, reading and playing with a stick and a tire. Today it's smartphones, mobile games, and social media on the go that have parents worried about how their children spend their time. Admittedly, the march of technology has moved us closer to activities that can be truly addictive and don't provide any added value - far less than reading or playing with sticks at least. While, as with most technologies, smartphones can be a curse, we believe that they’re a blessing when children use them correctly. Having that kind of information that smartphones provide at the tips of their fingers can be educational and enlightening. Even certain games can help build powers of critical thinking and work as a great reward system for when they perform well in school or fulfil other tasks that are expected of them. So, the question then becomes, how are your children using their mobile devices? Are they hiding certain ways they use it from you? Is their behavior addictive? If so, how bad is the problem? Obviously, we can't tell you much about your children specifically, but if you are concerned or just want to know more about the potential impact of all that screen time your children are getting, here are a few facts you should know, all according to the Common Sense Census of media use by Tweens and Teens released in 2019: On average, 8-12-year-olds get nearly 5 hours of entertainment time in front of a screen every day. This increases to almost 7 1/2 hours for teens over the age of 12. Children watch twice as much video content every day as they did in 2015, but the amount of time spent in front of a TV has dropped significantly. Over 50% of children already have a smartphone by the age of 11 and jumps to 69% among 12-year-olds. Kids these days spend the same amount of time on social media per day as they ever have but are opening social media accounts earlier and earlier. Digital devices give us all amazing new tools to create our own content, but statistics show that children spend very little time doing so. Just 12% of teens say they use a digital tool to track the time they spend on their device, though a quarter of them say their parents use apps to track their activity. These stats show us a few things. First, screens are everywhere for all children at a young age and they won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Moreover, children are likely to be interacting with them from earlier and earlier ages. Second, there does seem to be a tendency to use digital devices habitually, in ways that can be described as addictive and influential on your children's social and emotional development. Third, and finally, parents seem to be struggling to find a solution even when they do recognize a problem and have tools at their disposal to track their children’s' device use. There is clearly a need to shift habits and integrate new tools into your children’s smartphone usage that will make it beneficial rather than detrimental. Are you worried that negative digital device use might be getting out of hand in your household? You may want to check out our multi-part guide to parenting in the smartphone era.
- Parent, child and phone | Positive Screen Time, education and communication
Zero hassle for parents. Tons of value for kids. Dynamo makes your child’s smartphone positive and meaningful. What is Dynamo? Educational Communicative Safe Fun Dynamo Feed Social engagement between parent and child The Parent's app a view to your child’s experience Lockscreen challenge Ongoing questions with every opening of the smartphone in Math, Languages, Trivia, and more The Child's app an educational, fun, and safe experience Why Dynamo? Algorithm Questions adapt and update as your kid gets smarter What parents think of Dynamo Mary, Mother of Noah (9 years old), Wisconsin “All of a sudden he knew the multiplication table by heart” Karen, Mother of June (9 years old), California “They kept answering questions, and once it got easy, I updated to a higher lesson” Gary, Father of Jill (8 years old), Massachusetts “Dynamo isn’t intrusive and lets my kid answer questions little by little, and in the end they are learning a lot” Anne, Mother of Abby (7 years old) “My kid has a phone, and now she gets some education instead of just nonsense. A win-win for me, especially after I saw how she’s doing and improved” About us We’re a group of parents who have created Dynamo to provide positive child and parent experiences in the smartphone era. Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, as well as our children. We postpone getting them their own phone as much as we can, yet due to many reasons and needs, they end up having one, and then we cannot go back. So we've made Dynamo to provide children a safe and educational format, while granting the parents a view into this process. To avoid them falling into senseless browsing, playing, and negative screentime, Dynamo developed a platform which grants a fun and educational experience, provided every single time they unlock their phone. This makes sure that along with any rules, timetables, and solutions you may already be implementing, your child receives an extra boost of learning throughout their day, every single day. They improve, and you get to see it happening. Feel free to contact us with any questions, feedback, to learn more, or even chat with our team. Dynamo is the 3rd company Orr and Nim co-lead (last two were acquired in 2014 and 2015). Orr Kowarsky Founder & CTO Nim Bar Levin Founder & CEO Kobi Isha VP R&D Gal Shkedi VP Product & Creative Tomer Sapir Front end
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