The majority of 11-year-olds own smartphones. And experts are worried | Nancy Jo Sales

When you raise the question of not giving kids phones at all, parents balk. How can we do that? they ask. But what alternative is there? A report released by Common Sense Media on Tuesday found that by age 11, 53% of kids in the US have their own smartphone. And 69% do by the time theyre 12. This surge in phone ownership and the increased screen time associated with it comes amid growing concerns from experts and people like me that phones are bad for kids. Ive traveled the country over the last few years talking to parents and teachers about kids and social media. Ive heard stories about everything from non-consensually shared nudes in their schools to smartphone …

YouTube Kids launches on the web

Kid-friendly YouTube content now has its own website, youtubekids.com. The website will offer a similar experience to the existing YouTube Kids mobile app, where parents will be able to direct their child to videos that are age-appropriate, as well as track their child’s watch history and flag content missed by YouTube’s filters. At launch, the site won’t offer a sign-in option, but that will roll out at a later date, the company says. The website’s imminent launch was quietly disclosed earlier this week by YouTube, and comes ahead of the official announcement of an FTC settlement which is said to include a multimillion-dollar penalty against the Google-owned video platform for its violations of U.S. children’s privacy laws, COPPA. The FTC ruling, when …

Schools of thought: can mindfulness lessons boost child mental health?

Children are under increasing pressure. Investing in their mental wellbeing could could help them now and in the future Children are taking 10 minutes out from the hurly burly school day to reflect on their thoughts and their feelings. Some ground themselves by thinking about their feet on the floor, while others concentrate on their breathing. This is mindfulness, the lessons quickly growing in popularity as an antidote to the stress of being a young person in the 21st century, be it pressure to perform in exams, social media, or the obsession with body image that is reported to even affect primary age children. Children are learning about their brains and how to deal with unruly thoughts to control emotions …