The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age – Social Media & Online Privacy

01 August 2015
“How much can a stranger find out about my child online?” Search for your child’s name in the following sites. What did you find? What can you find? 1.    Facebook 2.    Google.com 3.    YouTube I searched my teenage girl and found her information on a few social media websites: Facebook. Google+,  YouTube, Prezi and Pinterest. From these pages combined, anyone can collect her personal information such as: 1.     Primary & Secondary school 2.    “10 things about her” 3.    Gender 4.    Date of birth 5.    Relationship status 6.    Email address 7.    Her profile picture 8.    A photo of her classmates Continue Reading

The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age – Social Media & Online Friendships​

01 July 2015
“Is your child using Social Media to Interact with Online Strangers?”​ Practically every single Internet user in the world uses social media platforms today. 1.    Toddlers watching YouTube 2.    Preschoolers huddling over multiplayer Minecraft games 3.    Primary school children sharing photos & chatting over WhatsApp 4.    Early teens consuming & sharing content on Facebook. It was not too long ago when parents probably adhered to age restrictions on social media platforms more tightly. Different social media platforms have different age limits for registered users. For most platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram & Tumblr), users need to declare that they are 13 Continue Reading
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The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age – A “Real-Life” June Holidays

01 June 2015
“School’s out & Holidays are in! Where is your child heading this vacation?” A quick scan of the top gaming websites indicate widespread entertainment options in the June holidays, ranging from tournaments in League of Legends & Blackshot, special events in Maple Story, crowds of children on Growtopia and the every-popular Minecraft & Clash of Clans. In fact, the most attractive “holiday” for many young children is not any exotic destination; rather they are virtual worlds quickly accessible through computers & mobile devices. How can parents engage children meaningfully during holidays? What can parents to do help their children diversify Continue Reading
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The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age – Improving the Quality of Children’s Screen Time

01 May 2015
What is your child doing when he uses devices and “screens”? Are there ways to choose “better” screen time? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend less than 2 hours of daily screen time for primary school children. It goes on to state that these should be “high-quality content”.   How can parents choose “high quality content”? How can parents improve the “quality of screen time” for our children? (1) Choose interactive screen time In general, interactive screen time will provide better stimulation and learning compared to passive reception. Examples of passive screen time will be TV and videos Examples of Continue Reading
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The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age – Children & Mobile Devices

01 April 2015
When will your kids get their own smartphones and iPads? At which age do you think children can manage their usage of these devices? Seven year-old Jaycen is glued to his iPad, watching Stampy YouTube videos (live commentaries on Minecraft). He seems oblivious to what is happening around him. Three other kids nearby are similarly glued to their devices as their parents interact. In a corner of the house, a lone toddler plays with toy cars with his caregiver. Smartphones and devices usually dominate the attention of children once they lay their hands on it. When they become their personal Continue Reading
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The Art & Science of Parenting in the Digital Age-Screen Time & Children

01 March 2015
In recent years, mobile Internet devices have become primary entertainment options for children. In particular, today’s primary school children probably started playing games and watching videos from their pre-school days. Data from EU Kids Online shows that about 30% children own a game console before they enter primary school. Similarly close to 10% have their own mobile phone. Kingmaker Consultancy’s research on a sample of 445 children in 2014 shows an average of about 30 to 45hrs per week of screen time for upper primary students. This works out to between 4 to 6hrs daily. While the quality of screen time Continue Reading
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Media Literacy

30 December 2013
The recent debate over two controversial advertisements highlighted the need for media literacy training.While the industry’s self-regulatory group (Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore - ASAS) acknowledged indecency and called for it’s removal, it was ironically some man-in-the-street who feel otherwise. Studies show that only 8% of advertising messages are processed by our brains, with the remainder influencing us in ways we do not even begin to realise. That means that 92% of advertising messaging influence us without our awareness!  Women take in unrealistic ideals of beauty and slimness; body parts (especially of women) are objectified and influence attitudes towards sex and violence. Continue Reading
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Kids and Mobile Gaming

30 December 2013
Mobile gaming is fast becoming the dominant past-time of kids in IT-enabled Singapore. From mealtime to bedtime, it’s rare to find a child who is not connected to either the iPhone, Nintendo Gameboy, Playstation Portable or a mobile device of some sort. Many parents worry about the impact of such a radical change in the development of the child. However, no one actually knows the actual long-term impact of such activities on our kids. From a research perspective, short-term experiments are inadequate and there are also significant ethical issues involved in testing children. Anecdotal evidences abound but research is relatively Continue Reading