‘Eighth Grade,’ Like Eighth Graders, Needs Parents

9
Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, the movie, is rated R, and for some pretty obvious reasons. Our intrepid reviewer Kristin Smith noted lots of profanity (including about 10 f-words) and saw plenty of references to various types of sexual activity when she screened the film. “It left me wondering why so much of it had to be there,” […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

9

Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

Continue Reading

Vodcast: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World

0
vodcast with Dr. Kathy Koch

For a long time—longer than maybe I want to admit, even—my professional life has revolved around helping families navigate this bewildering world of entertainment and technology we live in. Those twin influences are only getting stronger as time goes on: Kids and teens have so many shows to watch, music to listen to, games to […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Yeah, Being a Couch Potato is Bad For You

1
cat couch potato

We’ve always known, deep down, that sittin’ on the couch to do nothin’ but watch TV probably isn’t the best way to spend one’s day. Or month. Or year. But now, thanks to Scientific American, we have some indication of how bad the sin of sloth can be for us. It’s not just that couch […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Show Dogs Comes to Heel

5
cutting film

For a movie that’s made all of $7 million, Show Dogs has certainly sparked its fair share of controversy, including (obviously, if you’ve been following the blog lately) here in Plugged In land. I imagine more stories have been written about the flick than people have actually seen it. Well, the makers of the talking […]

Continue Reading

13 Reasons Provides a Teachable Moment (for Netflix)

1
13 reasons

When Netflix unveiled the first season of 13 Reasons Why last spring, the streaming service knew the show would be buzzy. It might not have understood the show’s sting. Based on the book by Jay Asher and produced in part by singer/actress Selena Gomez, the show’s first season revolved around the suicide of a young […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Are You Getting up for the Royal Wedding?

6
royal wedding

I pride myself on knowing what’s happening in the world and culture. But I had a funny exchange with my wife last week. We were watching TV when an add came on for an upcoming special titled something like, Meghan Markle: An American Princess. “She’s American?!” I asked, somewhat startled. I’d missed that little factoid. […]

Continue Reading

The Clanging Cringiness of Musical.ly

2
Musical.ly

We’ve all heard about Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Certain apps and social media platforms are as ubiquitous as, well, the smartphone you’re probably clutching in your hand right now. But kids flock to some apps that we parents are sometimes woefully unaware of. The Musical.ly app may be one of those. On the […]

Continue Reading

Facebook Upside Your Head

6
Teens and Facebook

In spite of all the bad press Facebook has gotten lately over leaking-like-a-sieve privacy concerns, it seems that the youthful set is still flocking regularly to that social media stopover and other venues like it. The latest compiled numbers from sources such as the Associated Press and the Pew Research Center suggest that: Nearly 90% […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: She Kissed a Boy … and He Didn’t Like It

4
katy perry

OK, a quick show of hands: Who would like to get a kiss from Katy Perry? Well, perhaps Plugged In readers are not a representative sample of America as a whole. Certainly, plenty of folks would gladly accept a smooch from the singing superstar. And maybe that’s what Perry was thinking when she planted a […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The Red Carpet (and Red Sparrow) Edition

4
red carpet

And the Oscar goes to … Jennifer Lawrence! No, no, that can’t be right. The actress isn’t even nominated for anything this year. But, as last year’s Oscar telecast taught us, sometimes mistakes can be made, even on moviedom’s biggest night and on its biggest stage. So in light of last year’s oopsie—when La La […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The Hearts and Arrows Edition

27
culture clips valentine's day

It’s Valentine’s Day, folks—a time when many of us turn our attention to love, romance and lots and lots of chocolate. We’re all about that sort of stuff here—honoring love, recognizing our loved ones and, of course, the chocolate—but there are those who, in this frazzled culture of ours, are having a harder time figuring […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: A Window Into the World of Teens

1
teen

It’s not easy being a teen. Never has been, never will be. How are today’s adolescents navigating that vast pubescent wasteland? Both teens and the scientists who observe ’em like lab rats have offered some thoughts on that over the last several days. First, some good news: High schoolers aren’t having sex as much as […]

Continue Reading