Family Coach. Mom. Teacher. Lover of Life.

Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Back to School! Podcast 6

The Allen kids are back in school this week. Unlike times in the past, back to school is changing, especially for college students. The days of going to a brick and mortar school for the first year of college is no longer the only option. Is doing a non-traditional option, such as community college or even doing early college high-school a good option? We will tell you our opinion in this week’s podcast.

Book reviewed: College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students by Jeffrey J. Selingo. (2013).

Article reviewed: How to Make Stuff in Wired, March 29, 2011.

A story about Limor “Ladyada” Fried, the first woman on the cover of Wired and one of Fiona’s role models.

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Key words: back to school, college alternatives, welding, early college, kids

Parenting in the Future Episode 5: Teens, Technology, and Mental Health

Welcome to the 5th episode of Parenting in the Future Podcast with special guest, Fiona Allen! Fiona, our 13 year old daughter, joined us and gave us information about the apps all the teens are using, and told us her take on mental health, technology, and what it is like to be a teen. Chris reviewed the book, Age of Opportunity by Lawrence Steinberg and helped us better understand adolescent brain development. Kim responded to a quote image she read on Facebook that read:


Nostalgic Parenting Judgement

Nostalgic Parenting Judgement

My curfew was lightening bugs. (OK–works for younger kids probably more than teens)

My parents didn’t call my cell, they yelled my name. (Too much to say about this; better listen to the podcast)

I played outside, not online. (Did you have friends from all over the world? Do you want your children to have 21st century tech skills? Do you struggle, like we do, to have appropriate boundaries for your teen and their technology use?)

If I didn’t eat what mom cooked, I didn’t eat. (First of all, that is sexist. Second, my mom cooked with a whole lot of lard and bacon grease. Third, I’m happy we all share in the food prep. Last, I hope I’m more respectful to my kids than that).

With nostalgia aside, this really isn’t true for our family. In face, we embrace technology. Want to know more about all of our reactions? Listen in!


Fiona and her Dad doing a podcast. She's a typical teen in that she didn't want her picture taken. This is the compromise.

Fiona and her Dad doing a podcast. She’s a typical teen in that she didn’t want her picture taken. This is the compromise.

Fiona's one and only time wearing a dress. It is a COSPLAY costume from her beloved Anime.

Fiona’s one and only time wearing a dress. It is a COSPLAY costume from her beloved Anime.









One of the joys of parenting: podcasting with my kid.

One of the frustrations of parenting: hearing my child’s cell phone go off every 2 seconds during the podcast.

Using technology to engage families.

One of our VIP Dads using social media in a parenting program.

One of our VIP Dads using social media in a parenting program.

Greetings from Portland, Oregon where I’m about to do a seminar on using social media to better reach families at the Oregon Parent Education Conference #OPECConf. I did a similar seminar last week in South Carolina for a group of Adlerian psychologists. I’ve done this seminar enough to know that there are the lovers and the haters of using technology to reach families. So I have a few questions for you to consider if you are thinking about using technology to engage families. Question 1. Who DOESN’T use Social Media?

Clearly, early everyone uses social media! Every generation is using the Internet/SM in some capacity. Check it out here: Question 2: Are current and future parents online? YES!

  • 95% of young people use the internet.
  • 93% of young people have a computer or have access to one at home.

Here is the capper:

  • Parents prefer participating in activities with their kids that involve older media
  • Namely, families love love to snuggle up and watch TV together for family time.
  • Teens (73% of them) are spending more and more time on social media.

I know, I know…enough numbers. But the truth is, I love watching TV with my kids. They love watching any screen time. It is common for me to hear my 13 year old posting comments on Instagram on a minute-by-minute basis. Another truth is that many of us get our information online, and much of that is from social media. I follow many parenting education programs on FB and Twitter, and I know many other parents do so as well. Here is one more truth.  If we want to better reach families and help educate them on family life issues, we must use technology (especially social media) to engage families. That can look different depending on what you do or where you do it. And it might mean a strong learning curve for us (hence the webinar). But in the end, we need to reach parents where they are. On technology. And if we are PARENTS, we need to be a bit more selective about where we get our parenting information. But that is a blog for another day.