January 2018

No Facebook for 5-year-olds!; An incredible lineup for our Children’s Screen Time Conference; Will the New York Times commit to kid-friendly? ; Hear from Leading Experts: Our Children’s Screen Time Action Network webinars; Foolproof your child with this great financial literacy curriculum; Action Network Resource: Creating a Family Technology Plan; Lynda Parmely joins the CCFC Board; Recommended Reading

Newsletter HTML: 

In This Issue:

  • No Facebook for 5-year-olds!
  • An incredible lineup for our Children’s Screen Time Conference
  • Will the New York Times commit to kid-friendly? 
  • Hear from Leading Experts: Our Children’s Screen Time Action Network webinars
  • Foolproof your child with this great financial literacy curriculum
  • Action Network Resource: Creating a Family Technology Plan
  • Lynda Parmely joins the CCFC Board
  • Recommended Reading

No Facebook for 5-year-olds!

Yesterday, CCFC sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a letter signed by over 100 leading health experts and advocates, asking Facebook to pull the plug on its new Messenger Kids app for children as young as five years old. Our campaign is off to an incredible start, with nearly 2000 petition signatures in less than 24 hours and coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Today, the Guardian, CBS Morning News, and dozens of other outlets. Messenger Kids’ art director said the app was designed to be “the most exciting thing you want to be doing.” But a growing body of research links social media use by adolescents with depression, poor sleep habits, and unhealthy body image. Younger children are even less equipped to deal with the interpersonal challenges and addictive power of social media. And moving friendships online displaces the face-to-face interactions crucial for developing empathy and healthy relationships.

This is a pivotal moment: from Mattel canceling their always-on “digital nanny” under pressure from CCFC, to Apple investors demanding the company address smartphone addiction, people are demanding that Silicon Valley do better by kids. Facebook thinks that their app’s parental controls are enough to keep the pressure off – but they’re wrong. Please sign the petition and tell Mark Zuckerberg to wield his immense influence in a way that helps children thrive: cancel Facebook Messenger Kids! 

An incredible lineup for our Children’s Screen Time Conference

The schedule is now available for the first-ever conference dedicated to reducing kids’ screen time! Hosted by CCFC’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network, speakers will focus on real solutions for helping kids and families unplug and reconnect. Sessions include:

  • Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose Screen Overuse in Schools with Matt Miles and Joe Clement
  • The Tech Industry’s Psychological War on Kids with Dr. Richard Freed
  • Who's Raising Our Kids: Nurturing Human Values in a Snapchat World with Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D. & Chelsea Maxwell, Ed.M.
  • The Overstimulated Child with Victoria Dunckley, M.D.
  • Keynote talks by Doug Gentile, Ph.D., Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., Jenny Radesky, M.D. and more.

Plus: Early Bird registration is extended! In order to foster face-to-face connections for as many attendees as possible, we’re making our special rate of $240 available until February 15. Register now!

Will the New York Times commit to kid-friendly?

Last month, we led a coalition of ten consumer groups urging the New York Times to cut advertising from future editions of its Sunday supplement New York Times For Kids. Their first edition in December featured multiple full-page ads for Google Home. The ads were bright, colorful, and designed to look like puzzles – all of which are unfair to kids, who often have trouble distinguishing ads from content. We’ve spoken with an industry watchdog which shares our concerns, and we’re glad to report that the January edition of the Times For Kids was a big improvement: the only ad was on the back cover, and it was for a museum. We’re asking the Times to commit to child-appropriate practices going forward, and we’ll keep you posted.

Hear from leading experts: Our Children’s Screen Time Action Network webinars

Registration is now open for our next Children’s Screen Time Action Network webinar. On February 22 at 4pm ET, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria will present Screen Time Is Not a Luxury Issue: Considerations at the Intersection of Digital Media and Poverty. Dr. Navsaria will discuss screen time interventions that are accessible and practical to all families, how tech is falsely marketed as a cure for inequality, and why practitioners must consider socioeconomic realities when discussing device use.

If you missed our first webinar, Screen Time and Family Relationships with Dr. Richard Freed, it’s available here. In the webinar, Dr. Freed addressed a variety of issues, including parent-child bonding, the push for screens in schools, and how parents might manage their child’s resentment of screen limits.

Foolproof your child with this great financial literacy curriculum

Earlier this month, CCFC’s Josh Golin joined other consumer advocates at the Newseum in Washington DC to endorse the Foolproof Foundation’s new financial literacy curriculum for middle and high school students. Most existing financial literacy educational materials are sponsored by banks and credit card companies and, not surprisingly, teach industry-favorable lessons. 

Foolproof’s curriculum were developed by advocates, teachers, and students with no ties to the financial industry. Their lessons focus on teaching healthy skepticism and help kids see through marketers’ tricks and gimmicks. Kids who use the curricula will be better equipped to avoid scams, resist impulse buying, and recognize manipulative marketing. To learn more about these great free resources for schools, visit Foolproof’s website.

Action Network Resource: Creating a Family Technology Plan

Looking for a tool to help your family manage their tech use? Check out Emily Cherkin’s Creating a Family Technology Plan! This resource helps families list their values and goals related to media use. Families will implement their goals, hold each other accountable, and celebrate successes. It’s designed as a contract: after everyone agrees and signs, it’s posted in a shared space to act as a guide and reminder. 

Emily Cherkin has worked with middle schoolers and their parents for 13 years, and she facilitates parent workshops. She’ll also be presenting at our Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference in April. Emily’s other tools, including a Tech Positive Parenting Quiz, are available for free on the Action Network Resource Library. 

Lynda Parmely joins the CCFC Board

We are excited to welcome our newest Board member, Lynda Parmely! Lynda worked at the Hagedorn Foundation serving as the Program Director of the Families, Children and Youth funding initiative from its founding until it sunset in 2017. For over 20 years, she has worked in the nonprofit sector as an organizer, child care assistant, trainer, program assistant, capacity building consultant, and most recently as the Program Officer for the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund at the Long Island Community Foundation. Lynda always brings her passion for equity and social justice to her professional and personal roles, and is the proud mom of Marley Atticus. Welcome, Lynda!

Recommended Reading