Let Our Kids Play

I just heard that my good friend Chris has launched a Playborhood site in Canada! I commented previously about the folks over at this great site when he brought it to my attention a while ago. I guess the message hit home with him as much as it did with me.

Where is the Presidential Leadership

I was having a conversation this morning with a colleague about politics. As somebody who advocates for keeping our kids safe on-line, that lead me wonder about what sort of real leadership there is out there for this important issue. Where do the presidential hopefuls stand? I certainly don't have the time to do an in depth analysis, but if you do and want to provide us with insight, please feel free to make a post. What I do have time for is to do a quick scan of the top candidates to see what they have to say on the issue of protecting our kids online from a variety of dangers and negative influences. I'll update you on what I learn and to start the process, I'll begin with yesterday's New Hampshire primary winners. Sadly, neither Hillary Clinton, the Democrat nor John McCain, the Republican had much to say on the topic. At least not as a key platform issue.

Here's what Hillary's official web site says: "Among the issues she has fought for and will make a priority as president are: protecting children against violence and sexual content in the media and studying the impact of electronic media on children's cognitive, social and physical development."

And over at John's official site, the issue is addressed like this....

That's right, not a word. How disappointing that a leading contender has nothing to say about protecting kids online.

As parents we need to stand up and let political candidates know that we care - that we not only need their support, but we need their leadership to make the changes necessary to protect our kids.


Boundaries in the Sand

I usually try not to post more than once a day, but I came across this interesting post made by Brian Baker, CEO of Hopscotch Technology. Mr Baker is participating in a day long session at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas called the Sandbox Summit which is looking at kids and technology. Of course, there's a heavy focus on toys and gadgets, but the interesting thing is that this particular session is also about how these things influence kids behavior. Brian makes some interesting observations about setting boundaries for our kids and making sure the technology doesn't take over. Read his great post here.

Fun for the Brain

If you've been a regular on this blog you'll know that one of my favorite things to do is surf around to find new and interesting sites that are both fun for kids and keep us grown ups happy. You'd be amazed at how hard it is to strike the right balance. So when I come across something good, I like to pass it along. Today, I found a site called FunBrain. While it is a little heavy on the advertising, it does have a lot of good stuff that is mostly educational. It also has resources for teachers and parents as well as for the kids. It's one of those web sites that you can share with your kids - and that's what the web should be all about.


Fresh Air instead of Refresh Screen

This blog is all about keeping our kids safe online. But did you ever stop to wonder why this is even a problem we need to worry about. Why are the kids spending so much time on a computer in the first place? Why aren't they outside playing in the park? Well, the folks at Playborhood have decided to do something about it. They've dedicated their time and effort to promoting the notion that kids should be kids. Here's just a little of what the founder, Mike Lanza, has to say on the topic:

"When I think about my kids’ (boys, 3 and soon-to-be-born) futures, I’m terrified. I’m not terrified that they will have inferior educations or live in an unsafe world. I’m terrified that they won’t have very much fun. To illustrate my point, take a moment to think of the ten best memories of your childhood before high school. Chances are, if you’re over 30, most of these memories involve playing outside your house with friends, not scheduled events with adults around."

I for one support Mike and his playmates entirely.


Amazon dot come on already....

I just finished reading a great book recommended by my friends over at Kinsa and wanted to pass it along to my faithful readers here. Julian Sher has penned a number of great books exploring behind the scenes details of law and order topics. The latest is called "One Child at a Time" and is a look at the global fight to combat on-line child pornography. It's a great read and you can find out more here: One Child at a Time: The Global Fight to Rescue Children from Online Predators

Which brings me to my point... normally, I'd post this link to Amazon and encourage you to snap up a copy for yourself. But for some strange reason, this book isn't available yet on the U.S. site. You can get it on Amazon's Canadian site here. I'm not sure why this is the case, but come on already, Amazon. Books like this are important tools in helping us all to understand how to keep our kids safe and what the law is doing about it. We need all the help we can get.