I love information. Love it. Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite the list of resources, so I’m saving you some time and sharing them here. These cover a whole slew of topics, and there are a few tools thrown in, as well. Enjoy!
Bark Monitoring & Filtering Service
Bark uses advanced algorithms to detect and proactively alert you to issues your children face online, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and signs of depression and suicidal thoughts. Bark covers text messaging, YouTube, email, and social media platforms and apps — 4x more than any other child monitoring app. You’ll get automatic alerts via email and/or text to signs of cyberbullying, depression, online predators, adult content, and more.
You connect Bark to every email, social media and search engine your child uses and Bark monitors them through the service. That means no matter what device they are on (think school issued Chromebooks), their activity is being monitored.
Bark has alerted us to harmful material a teen was viewing on Pinterest, inappropriate texts and when a new social media account was created. We benefit from Bark on a daily basis, and I am a HUGE proponent!
Circle by Disney
Internet & Device Management
This device has been life-changing! No more managing screen time limits or specific app usage. You just set up profiles for each person, assign devices to that person, and voila – you’re good! Be sure to check out my full review of Circle.
Common Sense Media
Media Reviews & Age Recommendations
This site screens and reviews books, movies, television shows, games, apps and websites. Whenever the kids want to watch a new show or movie that I’m not familiar with, this is the first place I go.
It has been especially helpful with my older kiddos. When they want a particular book or app, we go to Common Sense Media together to read about it. After we read the review, I ask them if they think the item is appropriate, and we discuss it. It gives them some ownership over the process now and also helps prepare them for the future when they will be making decisions on their own.
This is the site where I learned that the book “Drama” (by the same author of “Smile”) includes a character who is exploring same-sex relationships. Pornography and homosexuality are both topics that we have discussed with all of our children at some level, yes – even our Kindergartner, however I don’t believe some of them are ready to be exposed to those topics by someone who doesn’t share our same worldview.
Protect Young Eyes
App & Technology News
The Protect Young Eyes website has parental control instructions for just about every gaming console, mobile device, TV, and streaming app available. This site is invaluable! The Facebook page also publishes excellent articles and updates on the latest technology trends among tweens and teens, including popular new apps with full reviews that highlight any dangers or concerns associated with them.
*A note on Dannah Gresh – I do not endorse all of her material, but this is a good book. In some of her material she tends to lean a bit towards the purity shaming view, which in my opinion is far more damaging that it is helpful.
I put The Five Love Languages in the Marriage section, however, this book will transform every relationship in your life. The book defines the five primary love languages with which people express and receive love. The Five Love Languages are quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch and gifts. Understanding your own love language, as well as your loved one’s, is like suddenly having a translator in a conversation between two foreign-speaking individuals. You finally understand each other!
Take Flight Program
This program was developed by Scottish Rite and has had phenominal success! One of my daughters is in her second year of program and the difference we have seen in her has been unbelievable. We actually moved cities to be in a school district that offers the program. If your district doesn’t offer Take Flight, you can go to the Academic Language Therapy Association website to search for a certified therapist in your area. Just make sure in the training or bio section that Take Flight is listed.
Excellent website with resources and information about Dyslexia, ADHD and other learning issues.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you click the link to make a purchase. Rest assured, I never recommend a product or service that I haven’t used or don’t fully believe in. That would just be sketchy.