Category: Well-Being | Human Interest

Unplugged Services: Helping Parents Establish Healthy Tech Foundations

Helping Parents Establish Healthy Tech Foundations

When you think of all the technological advancements throughout human history, technology used primarily for communication to the masses was relatively new. And compared to the last 15 years, the rate of progression was gradual; from radio in the 1920’s, to television in the 1930’s, to the first personal computer in the 70’s, and the creation of the internet.

For those of us growing up before there was a personal computer in every home or school, you would still hear about kids spending too much time in front of the TV. Who would have predicted there would be personal TV in everyone child’s pocket, much less a TV that communicated both ways.

The Need to Unplug

Besides entertainment in the palm of our hands, the ability to connect with anyone in the world at any time has also brought additional challenges. It’s easy to forget how fast it happened.

At Safe Search Kids, we have extensively covered the topic of screen time and the need to unplug relative to a child’s well-being. Our writers have explored the effects on a child’s social life, cyberbullying, early child development, lack of physical activity, anxiety, addictive behavior for gamers and on social media.

Even for adults, it’s a struggle for us to see how well our friends are doing when we compare ourselves with “the moments best of their lives” on social media posts.  A lack of screentime boundaries for people of all ages has led to an increase in people feeling alienated, lonely, and depressed.

Unplugged Services

Safe Search Kids is proud to support the work of organizations that promote well-being in our quickly advancing technological world. Unplugged Services focuses on Helping Parents Establish Healthy Tech Foundations for Their Children. They seek partnerships to gain traction and promote a shared goal of ensuring children’s safety online.

Company Overview:

Unplugged Services was founded in October of 2023 by David Grajzl and two other partners.

They work to ensure that parents of today’s youth are properly equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to instill screen time maturity, social media safety, and overall awareness of the multiple dangers associated with the use of devices.  Unplugged Services provides education on how decisions they make now can and will affect them later, as well as impacting their own children.

Products and Services:

Unplugged Services currently provides:

  • 5+ online courses that help guide parents to ensure digital safety for their child.
  • A free monthly newsletter. Unlock a wealth of invaluable insights with Unplugged Services complimentary monthly newsletter, designed to keep you well-informed and intrigued about your child’s digital behavior. Explore the details of this exclusive resource here and elevate your understanding of your child’s online experience.
  • Online events and seminars led by subject matter experts. Granting passionate and caring parents like you the opportunity to voice your questions and opinions to experts and professionals.
  • To view their courses, newsletter, and online events please website follow this link, Unplugged Services.

Client Testimonials and Endorsements

Client Testimonials

“Unplugged Services has been a game changer for my teenager. I absolutely love their monthly newsletter. Thank you!” – Anonymous

“I’m grateful for the guidance provided by Unplugged Services. My child now understands the importance of responsible social media usage.” – Anonymous

Unplugged Services as recently been endorsed by Delaney Ruston who has produced numerous films regarding teen screen safety reaching audiences in the millions.

Final Thoughts

It would be foolish to think that the human race has reached the precipice of technological advancement.  We have not even mentioned the future advancement coming in virtual and augmented reality, robotics, quantum and edge computing, and of course artificial intelligence.

All these new and wonderful things can improve efficiency and better our society in numerous ways. There are also benefits in education as we offer effective resource tools to parents and schools. But we must also ask the question.  What is the human cost if we forget where we came from as family units and communities.  What new problems will we face if we forget to set up consistent ways to unplug from the technology?

The future is in the hands of educators and parents alike. We can better connect if we learn to unplug and teach our children to do the same.


Quotes to Live and Unplug By

Unplugging helps you refocus on yourself instead of being pulled in a zillion different directions. Those directions may all be important, but you are just as important. – Arin Murphy-Hiscock (Author)

Especially when you have a lot going on, you must find a way to unplug and focus on yourself. – Mandy Ingber (Author)

I try to make a point in my life to leave the cellphone in the car sometimes, to try to unplug as much as possible. – Tom Green (Comedian)

We do well to unplug regularly. Quiet time restores focus and composure. – Daniel Goleman (Psychologist)

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes … including you. – Anne Lamott (Novelist and Non-Fiction Writer)

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Do You Need to Give Your Kids Vitamins? 5 Facts All Parents Should Know

Ever stood in the supplement aisle, completely taken aback by rows of colorful bottles all promising to vault your kids’ health into superhero territory? It’s a jungle out there, and when it comes to kiddo vitamins, even seasoned parents can end up scratching their heads.

Worry not! We’re slicing through the marketing hype to deliver five juicy nuggets of truth every caregiver should chew on. Before you let those tiny gummies or chalky chews leap into your shopping cart, let’s gear up with some no-nonsense insights that could save you bucks and make for healthier children. We’ll answer some questions you likely have on your minds!

5 Things Parents Should Know About Vitamins

Hey parents, ever feel like navigating the vitamin aisle is trickier than explaining why the sky’s blue? Buckle up, because we’re about to unpack the ABCs of children’s vitamins.

1. Most Children Don’t Need Vitamins

Most kiddos, as long as they have a decent diet, are hitting their vitamin goals without the need for anything extra. Nature’s got its own pantry stocked with nutrients in those fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins. And food is often better at helping your kids metabolize their vitamins.

So before you jump on the vitamin bandwagon thinking your little one’s missing out, consider this: for many tots with no specific nutritional issues or restrictive diets, supplements are just an extra they can skip. It’s like bringing a life jacket to the desert—good intention, wrong context.

2. Individual Vitamins are More Effective Than Multivitamins

Jumping into the vitamin game can be as confusing as choosing your fighter in a video game, especially when you need to choose between multivitamin vs individual vitamins. Basically, individual vitamins have no extra fluff, they just offer straight-up nutrition support for your child.

Meanwhile, multivitamins are more like button mashing and hoping for the best—it might work, or it might not be what they need. Bottom line? Tailoring those vitamins to match your child’s unique health goals could offer better results than blasting them with the multi everything-bomb.

3. Supplements Aren’t Rigorously Regulated

Ever thought about how the supplement shelf is like a pirate cove of treasures without a map? Here’s why: unlike their prescription buddies, supplements don’t get the same eagle-eye treatment before hitting the shelves. They can make claims that simply aren’t true.

That means some bottles could be throwing a curveball on what’s inside. It’s super important to scan for third-party testing or USP seals to ensure you’re not sailing blind into iffy waters with your kid’s health. It’s also a good idea to monitor your child while they’re taking supplements.

5 Things Parents Should Know About Vitamins

4. Vitamins May Interact with Other Medications

Think your little champ can juggle vitamins and meds with no sweat? Hit the brakes and peek under the hood first. Vitamins aren’t just passive passengers. They can get behind the wheel and mess with how prescription drugs drive through your kid’s system.

Something as simple as vitamin C or calcium might throw a wrench in the works, leaving medications either turbo-charged or snoozing at the start line. To sidestep an unexpected pit stop, it’s wise to speak with your pediatrician before green-lighting any supplements.

5. Watch Out for Dosage Amounts

Heads up, because when it comes to dosing vitamins for the kiddos, more isn’t always merrier; it’s a balloon that can go pop! Just like raiding the cookie jar, overdosing on vitamins—especially the fat-soluble type—can lead to trouble with a capital T in the form of illness or hospitalization.

Your munchkin’s body hangs onto vitamins A, D, E, and K especially well, so be careful. Flip through those labels like you’re searching for Waldo and stick to recommended amounts. It may also be a good idea to speak to your pediatrician about recommended dosage amounts!

In Conclusion…

All right, superhero parents, with your new intel on deck, you’re ready to navigate the vitamin voyage like a pro and improve your child’s health. Remember, when if comes to well-being, knowledge is power—use it to make informed choices that ensure your kids sail smoothly on their health journey.

Don’t let those shelves of bottles intimidate you. You’ve got this! And if you’re ever in doubt, drop an anchor and consult with your trusty pediatrician. Now go forth, make wise picks, or give those supplements a miss if they’re not needed. Either way, here’s to thriving kiddos!

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Is It Safe for Children to Chew Gum?

Is It Safe for Children to Chew Gum?

By Bill Wirtz – As children get older they become increasingly interested in the candy aisle, and often reach for things they are not supposed to have. Chewing gum is one of those items for which many parents are unsure what exactly the rules should be.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children be at least 5 years old before they start chewing gum.  This is because children under 5 may not have the necessary fine motor skills to chew gum safely and could swallow it, which can lead to choking or other problems.

After the age of five is when kids embark on the journey of the school system, where they’re asked to behave and focus on their work. It is probably demanded by the individual teachers for students not to chew gum during their lessons, but if you thought that she should not chew gum while doing their homework, think again.

Numerous studies have shown that the act of chewing sugar-free gum improves focus and memory retention. It might seem counterintuitive that what is mostly considered a sweet treat would actually have positive impacts on your cognitive ability. Chewing sugar-free gum is not merely helpful for memory retention; it is also associated with higher focus and productivity overall.

Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva flow which helps to wash away bacteria, viruses and toxins in the mouth, nasopharynx and upper gastrointestinal tract. Contrary to many uppers used in the workplace and by students, such as energy-drinks or coffee, sugar-free gum has mood boosting qualities without the downsides of sugar or caffeine dependence.

A study conducted in 2017 discovered that chewing gum had a positive impact on productivity and cognitive performance at work. It was also found to increase alertness, improve productivity, and reduce cognitive issues. In 2002, researchers conducted experiments using control groups to examine the effects of chewing gum on memory retention. The results showed that it enhanced the ability of participants to recall words immediately and after a delay.

Furthermore, a study in 2009 revealed that chewing gum not only improved alertness and reduced anxiety and stress levels but also had a positive effect on mood during stressful situations. Moreover, chewing gum can act as a distraction-free alternative to fidgeting, aiding individuals in maintaining focus on their tasks.

The question is not just whether it is safe for youth to chew gum, but also why it isn’t more incentivised. With news stories increasingly covering the technological distractions that keep youth distracted in class, shouldn’t we take a closer look at those things that might help them focus more?

Bill Wirtz is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Consumer Choice Center.


Related Reading

Is there a link between oral health and school performance?

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Positive Steps: Nurturing Good Behaviour in Young Minds

Positive Steps: Nurturing Good Behavior in Young Minds

You’ve just finished cleaning your home. But within a few minutes, blocks are scattered everywhere, food spilt on the floor, clothes strewn haphazardly – everything is messy. Couple this with fights among siblings, disrespect for parents, and unnecessary tantrums, and you can only wish that your little kids behave responsibly.

There’s hope. You can certainly veer away from punishing and controlling your kids all the time. Cultivating kindness, resilience, and responsibility in young minds is of the essence. It takes the right approach to achieve positive results. And that’s the focus of this article.

1. Building a foundation for growth

When it comes to nurturing positive behaviour in kids, know that a solid foundation has long-term positive effects.

  • Understand the roots

Children naturally behave differently at different stages of development. Knowing these growth phases helps you understand why kids act in a certain way. For instance, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) usually starts before they hit eight years, but no later than about 12 years. It makes kids aggressive, angry, and defiant around adults.

With this knowledge, you won’t castigate them for the seemingly silly things they do. Instead, you’ll understand the unseen forces influencing them and find prudent ways to positively direct their energies and emotions.

Emotions are a significant determinant of conduct. Thus, training young ones to master their emotional intelligence is crucial. Not just for everyday behaviour but also for academic prowess. Studies reveal that kids with higher emotional intelligence tend to get higher grades than those who’ve not mastered their emotions.

Encourage them to express their feelings without throwing tantrums. Teach them how to solve problems whenever they arise. Strengthen their empathy through role-playing and stories. And likewise, listen to their concerns empathetically.

  • Create a fertile ground

A supportive environment helps shape your kid’s behavior. Strive to cultivate trust in their hearts. They shouldn’t view you as an inconsiderate person who’s hard to please. Celebrate the little achievements they make. A simple verbal praise could go a long way to building confidence. Your kid stays motivated and realizes the significance of their actions beyond mere compliance.

Avoid punishing them excessively. In most countries, more than 67% of children are subjected to violent discipline by caregivers. This is a violation of children’s rights. It’s hurtful to kids and they may not understand why they’re being beaten physically or psychologically tortured.

  • Nourish from within

Ensure your kids have essential life skills, which help establish desirable traits. A kid with problem-solving and conflict resolution skills can handle challenges constructively and calmly without heated emotions. Self-awareness helps kids master their emotions, leading to rational exchanges and self-control.

Moreover, engage them in confidence building activities like drama classes, public speaking, and team sports. This helps them overcome fears and believe in themselves. Positive self-talk can also help. Encourage them to make affirmations like, ‘I’m more than able to do this.’

In essence, understanding the root of kids’ behaviours helps you embrace your kids’ shortcomings and shape their character.

A supportive environment helps shape your kid’s behavior.

2. Cultivate specific values

Be objective when it comes to teaching kids. Know the specific traits you want them to have.

  • Kindness and compassion

Teach your kids how to treat others with kindness. For instance, they can help their friends with homework, share toys when playing, or write thank you notes to their teachers. Furthermore, nurture a sense of belonging in your family and neighborhood. Feeling as an integral member of a supportive community helps inculcate empathy in their young minds.

  • Responsibility and integrity

Kids should be taught to be accountable. Assign them tasks matching their age. The younger ones can pack toys and tidy up their playroom or water plants. School goers can set the table or feed pets. And teens should be able to do laundry and shop for groceries. Hold them accountable for their actions. But don’t focus too much on punishment. Prioritize guidance. The integrity skills they acquire at this tender age will stick for the rest of their lives.

  • Resilience and growth

While growing, kids will make a multitude of mistakes and face myriad challenges. But this shouldn’t deter them from pressing on. Show them how to bounce back from such pitfalls and forge ahead. Instill the never-give-up attitude in them. And let them know that quitting isn’t an option.

These values are fundamental to positive behaviour in children. Kids who master them thrive not just in their childhood but also in their teenage and adult life.

Conclusion

Nurturing good behaviour in young minds starts with an out-and-out understanding of what shapes their behaviour at different developmental stages. Knowing their emotions and desires lets you gently deal with the bad habits while inculcating essential life skills.

You may want to integrate technology to promote acquisition of positive practices. Expose them to educational apps and digital citizenship lessons. Just make sure to guard their innocence while online.

Also, don’t do it alone. Engage the wider community. Teachers and childcare providers can help you towards this goal as they spend a significant amount of time with the children. The healthy traits kids acquire at a tender age stick with them for decades.

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