Latest Entries


The Ones That Got Away

By Erin Nelson - Friday, February 13th, 2015

Maybe “FOMO” (fear of missing out) isn’t a result of the smartphone era, after all. Could it simply be part of being human?   I had a barefoot childhood. The kind spent traipsing the gravel alleys that divided our blocks and dead-ended in train tracks, adults perhaps in earshot, but definitely not in sight. OurRead More…


Raising Kids Who Care: Giving at the Holidays and for Life

By Leticia Barr - Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

As soon as my kids were born, I wondered all the time how what we said and did would affect their own values, down the road. As parents, we always hope our children’s minds truly are little sponges, that they’ll become adults who remember and repeat not only our words, but how we behave andRead More…


Are You a Digital Native or a Digital Pilgrim? Or … Both?

By Jimmy Shang - Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

I love hearing stories about things that happened before I was born. A favorite is when my father tells me about how his mother worked on computers in China in the 1950s. I like to picture my grandmother tinkering with a calculator the size of a house and inventing punch-cards. Then I remember that punch-cardsRead More…


5 Low-tech Tips for Parenting High-tech Kids

By Fred Goodall - Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I’ve been a tech geek since the 3rd grade, when my class was allowed to use the main school office computer once a week. This was way back in 1978 when computers were a luxury and there was only one in the whole building. The entire staff stopped work for a couple hours each Friday,Read More…


Finding My Way to Fatherhood

By Whit Honea - Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Fatherhood—or, to be specific, my personal experience with it—began in the wee hours of a rainy Saturday morning just outside Seattle, following 16 hours of my wife in labor and me barely breathing. It was 2003, and prior to that moment I only knew fatherhood from the outside looking in, as a concept that hadRead More…


The Deadly Thing You Do Every Day—And Lie to Yourself About

By Erin Nelson - Monday, May 19th, 2014

It’s time we tell the truth. I’ll go first: I’ve texted while driving. Though I have a husband and two children who need me. Though everyone else on the highway is also vital and precious and loved. I heard the buzz and Did. Not. Resist. It was yesterday. And a few days before that. AndRead More…

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Parents, Clean up Your Act Online

By Leticia Barr - Thursday, April 24th, 2014

We all know the best way to teach kids proper behavior is to model it, and we count on adults to behave in a way worth mimicking. Our cave-dwelling ancestors did this—it’s been in our DNA for forever. But though we’ve had millennia to practice, something about digital media has caused a striking percentage ofRead More…

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The One Thing You Absolutely Must Do to Help Yourself Unplug & Connect to What Really Matters

By Rachel Macy Stafford - Friday, January 31st, 2014

Occasionally I have the opportunity to speak to various groups of children about becoming an author. When I tell my eager listeners the purpose of my book is to help people put down their phones and interact with their family, something happens. Small hands shoot straight up in the air and earnest voices beg toRead More…


Is Unplugging Always Best? Balancing Technology Use at the Holidays

By Leticia Barr - Monday, December 16th, 2013

Ah, the holidays. It’s a time that makes us feel like we should be working less, focusing on spending time together as a family, and unplugging to enjoy the season. But how realistic is that and is it really feasible or even optimal? Maybe it’s not so mentally healthy to get completely wrapped up inRead More…

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My Digital Security Blanket

By Lisa Dilg - Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

A few weeks ago, I overheard my 13-year-old daughter talking about what she and her twin brother might be for Halloween. I was only half-listening, until she called over to me, “Mom, it’s our last year of trick-or-treating, we have to make it good.” WHAT? Their LAST YEAR??? I was as shocked as if she’dRead More…

engaging youth in social good

Get Your Kids Online—For Good

By Elena Sonnino - Thursday, September 26th, 2013

When was the last time you took an action online, clicking or sharing something that you read because it moved you? My guess is that if you’re like me, you probably do this several times a day, or at least weekly. Clicking a link symbolizes influence, be it based on emotion, statistics, politics or currentRead More…


The Dirty Secret of Being a Social Media Pro

By Lisa Morris Frame - Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. —Richard Moss   I’m a heavy social media user. It’s the lion’s share of my job as an online content producer and social media marketing analyst. Yet as I sit back and look at myself and my habits, and observe others in myRead More…


The Very Best Thing for Your Child Ever in the History of the Universe When It Comes to Screens and Summertime

By Erin Nelson - Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I was a latchkey kid in the early 80s. Also, I was dorky. Translation: what was my favorite way to spend that lovely hour after I let myself in (and locked the door behind me, drew the shades, followed strict orders never to answer the door) and before my parents got home? Stretched out onRead More…


The Real Gift of Father’s Day

By Adrian Kulp - Thursday, June 13th, 2013

I have tons of fond memories of growing up in rural Pennsylvania with my two brothers and our mom and dad. Every year, before Eric, Travis and I were old enough to really make any money, my mom would give each of us five bucks, take us to the local mall and turn us loose.Read More…

Mother's Day is for Children

Mother’s Day is for Children

By Erin Nelson - Friday, May 10th, 2013

A couple years ago, when I was going through a pretty bad time, I sat on my front stoop, in ratty sweatpants, in the fog, smoking a cigarette (which I always do during Pretty Bad Times, even though it just makes things worse), worried about the effect of my feelings of utter disconnection on myRead More…

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Screen Time Means More than Just the Minutes

By Leticia Barr - Monday, April 8th, 2013

Five years ago I started blogging to share my mixed feelings about our four-year-old daughter’s inheriting her grandmother’s iMac. I worried about where to put it, what we should allow her to play on it and how to limit her screen time. Now that little girl is nine, and my view of technology’s place inRead More…

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Were the Good Old Days Really Better?

By Sherry - Friday, March 8th, 2013

Every day, I pass a sign, tacked on our office bulletin board, that says, in huge red letters: “19% of kids worldwide (ages 2-5) can operate a smartphone app. Only 9% can tie their shoelaces.”  Where did this dire statistic come from, and what’s it for, other than to leave us pining for a (better,Read More…

Safely Spotlight post - Know When Not to Say No - 02-07-13

Know When Not to Say No

By Erin Nelson - Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Yesterday my five-year-old daughter said to me screamed at me before slamming her bedroom door, “You are the MEANEREST MOM I have EVER MET!” I had just (for the third time, without raising my voice, which was still tinged with gentle cheer, which took every shred of self-control I had left) told her no, sheRead More…

Formal Friday

What We Thought Was Hot and Not: 23 for 2013

By Erin Nelson - Sunday, January 6th, 2013

We Safely folks like to work behind the scenes, writing code, designing apps, and generally making the world a better place, in our own way. But with the new year, we’re turning over a new leaf, and coming out from behind the curtain. Here we are (above!), wearing our Sunday best on a Friday. (ReadRead More…


What Happens to the Holidays When Everyone Wants a Gadget?

By Leticia Barr - Thursday, December 6th, 2012

This weekend we brought home a gorgeous new 23” touchscreen desktop computer. We dropped everything to unbox and set up this beauty, but ever since, the kids have been drawn to it like moths to the flame. Its enormous, shiny surface gleams in a much-trafficked area of our house, beckoning them each time they pass.Read More…


Making a Digital Break

By Leticia Barr - Monday, October 29th, 2012

Hello, I’m Leticia Barr, Safely Spotlight guest columnist and a DC Metro area mom of 2 elementary-school-aged children. I’m also the founder of Tech Savvy Mama and a regular contributor to, where I provide technology tips to parents through Tech Savvy Parents. In today’s world there are myriad digital devices that let us communicate andRead More…


Parents, Grandparents and Teachers: Win $500 Amazon Gift Card for Your Favorite Classroom, from Safely

By Erin Nelson - Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

We at Safely are committed to helping families, by providing services and resources parents can use to teach their children healthy mobile habits for life. To celebrate the new school year, we’re excited to extend that help into another important place where children learn: the classroom. Enter our Facebook giveaway, and you could win: •Read More…

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Fearless Kids, Fearful Parents

By Heidi - Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I’ve spent the last week thinking a lot about parenting expert Madeline Levine’s recent New York Times column, in which she writes: “Parents must acknowledge their own anxiety. Your job is to know your child well enough to make a good call about whether he can manage a particular situation. Will you stay up worrying?Read More…

Do we need to Can we know everything our kids do online?

Can we know everything our kids do online?

By Erin Nelson - Monday, July 30th, 2012

“22% [of parents] live in denial, claiming that their kids can’t get in trouble online,” reports a recent study about how much parents know about their kids’ online activity. Characterizing parents who don’t think their children can get in trouble online as “in denial” is harsh. But I think before we deem these 22% GoodRead More…


Should Facebook allow kids under 13 to sign up? That isn’t a real question.

By Jason Finkelstein - Friday, June 15th, 2012

Over the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of buzz about how Facebook is considering allowing children under the age of 13 to sign up (right now, officially, you have to be at least 13 to use the site). News organizations surveyed parents, brought in parenting experts and even roped in so-called “internet researcher”Read More…


Is “mommy blogger” a bad word?

By Jason Finkelstein - Friday, June 1st, 2012

That’s an infographic that recently appeared on the social news site Mashable about moms who blog. While the statistics may seem innocuous at first, this grahic caused quit a stir in the blogosphere. Women bloggers around the internet rightly pointed out that these sorts of studies always characterize women bloggers as “mommy bloggers” even ifRead More…

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Our Solution to Three Biggest Problems with Teens and Cell Phones

By Jason Finkelstein - Monday, May 14th, 2012

  Fact: 43% of teens have texted while driving in the past three months. Fact: One of the main reasons parents call their kids is to check up on their location. Fact: 64% of teens text during class.   These days, kids are getting cellphones as young as 8-years old. If you’ve been thinking aboutRead More…


When Parents Look for their Kids

By Jason Finkelstein - Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Since we’re a software company, many of us here at Safely have a bit of a nerdy side. We recently looked through some of the data we’ve collected from Safely Family Locator to figure out how parents use it to locate their kids. I thought I’d share a few of the interesting trends we’ve discovered. ParentsRead More…


Facebook vs Cyberbullies Who Will Win?

By Jason Finkelstein - Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A few days ago Facebook introduced a new support dashboard for reporting and tracking incidences of cyberbullying. While it’s good to see Facebook making strides towards curbing cyberbullying in their community, all the dashboard does is help parents and kids track abuse reports. It doesn’t add any extra reporting features or new methods of deterringRead More…


Should I Send my Kid to an Online College?

By Jason Finkelstein - Friday, April 20th, 2012

With the rising cost of education and a total national student debt of over $1 trillion dollars it’s not hard to see how many high school students may be looking for a low-cost alternative to a traditional college education. Recently a slew of new technology companies have cropped up to tackle that problem through providingRead More…