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Their Own Devices


No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions and helpful tips about screen time, social media, sexting, privacy, online gaming, and other challenges facing parents today. Marc and David aren't just experts — they’re also married, and raising a teenage son of their own.


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No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions and helpful tips about screen time, social media, sexting, privacy, online gaming, and other challenges facing parents today. Marc and David aren't just experts — they’re also married, and raising a teenage son of their own.




Like Adolescence, Season One Ends At 25

From sexting to cyberbullying, Finstas to Rinstas, medical advice to parenting tips, Marc and David explore many of the highlights from season one. They share their favorite moments from the podcast including some of their guests' most controversial statements, funniest comments and most surprising revelations. After the important lessons and big laughs, Marc and David provide a preview of season two and answer the #1 question everyone keeps asking: "What does their son think about their...


It's Complicated: Societal Norms, Teens and Tech

On this episode Marc and David bring Their Own Devices to the live stage with guest danah boyd, the world renowned computer scientist and author of “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.” danah boyd is skeptical that tech has a negative impact on teens and is concerned that their voices are not heard in debates about the future of the online world. Maybe the debate shouldn't be about tech at all? Marc and David, who are parenting a teen today, are not always on the same page...


Ready Parent One: Learning Fortnite

Your kid is playing a shooter game. You hear the guns, grenades and mindless shouting. But you know the real battle is coming when you call "dinner" or "bedtime!" The best way to understand your kid's obsession is to pick up a controller yourself and play. If you can't do that, then find a patient 12 year old to explain Fortnite. That's just what Marc and David did. On this episode Jamey, a precocious 7th grader from a small town in Maine, explains Fortnite, digital citizenship, game ratings...


Different Homes, Different Devices, Different Rules

Have you heard about the magic door our kids use? This isn’t a video game. Kids walk through this door and all of the rules, limits and restrictions parents place on technology disappear. You may know this magical gateway by its more common name, “the front door of a friend’s house.” On this episode Marc and David chat with 2 guests: that “embarrassing Dad” who raises tech concerns with other parents before play dates and Laura Tierney, a former digital marketing executive who now works with...


There's No Delete Button on the Internet

Parents often warn their kids that everything posted online is permanent and that there's no guarantee that data will remain private. It's good advice but can you actually explain that? What does it really mean when we hit "delete," empty the recycle bin, take down a single post, deactivate a social media account, or set a message to expire? Parents raising digital natives should understand what happens to our kids' data before there's a crisis with a picture, post, snap, or tweet. On this...


Finstas: The "Real" Instagram Account

On this episode Marc & David sit down with 4 high school students and get right to the question most parents are wondering: “If we had access to your Finsta or “fake Instagram” account, what would we find?” The guests don’t hold back and take Marc and David on an entertaining and eye opening journey through the secret digital lives of today’s teens. It turns out Instagram and finstas in particular play a central role in teen culture- for better or for worse.


Talking About Cyber Hate

The Internet didn't create hate speech. But the digital world has transformed its reach, volume and dangerous tone in unprecedented ways. It's only a matter of time before our kids encounter cyber hate. When it does surface, we want them to be prepared. On this episode Marc and David discuss the proliferation of cyber hate with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most respected civil rights organizations in the country, which operates the ADL Center on...


The Social Media Generation

Social media use among teens is increasing year to year. These digital platforms enable adolescents to communicate more, meet new people, build communities, be creative, and express themselves. But surveys and studies suggest that the expanding use of social media places enormous pressure on teens, and that the decline in face-to-face interactions is leading to a range of negative outcomes. As adults we’re observers of this digital culture, but our kids are living it. What do they think? On...


The Truth About "Internet Addiction"

Is your teen spending too much time in front of screens? Excessive and compulsive use of digital tech may affect school, relationships and sleep as well as both physical and mental health. The problem is real and parents are worried. But is it an addiction? When does consistent use of tech evolve into excessive, uncontrolled or dysfunctional use requiring intervention? What should parents be looking for? On this episode Marc and David invite back Dr. Michael Rich, more widely known as The...


Calling Parents About Their Kids’ Online Actions

As parents in the digital age, we’re likely to see troubling things online about other children in our community. Your son or daughter may proactively show you another kid’s post, or perhaps you discover something concerning when monitoring your own child’s social media accounts and devices. It could be sexually suggestive images, photos of teens engaging in illegal behavior, an offensive meme, cruel comments, thoughts about self-harm, or unusually violent videos. When should one parent...


How Smartphones and Media Influence Kids’ Behavior

Parents today are raising children in a new digital environment and medical research demonstrates that the use of interactive digital technology affects kids’ behavior and development. Parents need to be conscious of exactly how kids are changed by screens. On this episode, Marc and David explore how digital technologies influence kids with one of the senior-most experts in this field, Dr. Michael Rich, Founder and Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s...


Teen Sexting: A Girl's Perspective

The sharing of explicit photos is becoming a more common practice in teen culture. Digital technology and mobile apps like Snapchat make it fast and easy to instantly send and receive naked pics. Both boys and girls are actively participating, much to their parents’ chagrin. But why? It turns out that boys and girls may have different reasons for sexting. Certainly some girls voluntarily participate or even initiate. But other young women report being pressured into sending photos and...


Teen Dating in the Digital Age

When our kids start dating, it opens up a whole new world of challenges for parents. It always has. But today teen romance comes with a unique set of digital challenges and information-age risks. Whether it’s your son or daughter, you want them to have a positive experience. To be supportive parents, we need to understand how our kids communicate, meet potential romantic interests, flirt, date, and even break up. On this episode, Marc and David chat with two teens, Haley and Ben, about the...


What Our Kids Post Online Matters, Maybe Forever

Social media and engaging online are part of being a kid today, but just one post, tweet or text can get a student suspended or expelled, ruin friendships, impact future job opportunities, or influence college admissions. Right or wrong, a single, split-second digital decision can damage a teen’s reputation and permanently impact a child’s digital footprint. This is a lot of pressure for an adolescent, who is just trying to navigate the high school years and all that goes with it. As...


Spying or Parenting - Do We Need to Respect Our Kids’ Digital Privacy?

As parents, we want to give our kids the freedom to explore, grow, make mistakes, and develop resilience. But we also want to keep our kids safe. Today’s children are digital natives and the Internet is their second home, teeing up new concerns and new ways to track or monitor their behavior. From parental controls to routine spot checks of devices and accounts, mom and dad can read texts, posts, Snaps, email, and more. Some argue this is spying, while others maintain this is parenting in...


Sandbox v. Xbox: The Role of Digital Play

Digital play makes our kids’ childhood drastically different than our own. Many parents are concerned about the potential impact of today’s high-tech electronic gaming and graphic digital content on their kids. Are the fears justified? Many experts say yes. Others disagree, pointing out that video games give our kids’ brains a workout as players solve problems, concentrate and communicate. Either way, kids love gaming and digital play is here to stay. So what do parents really need to care...


Teen Sexting – Flipping Out Is Not the Answer

Teen sexting is happening, whether we like it or not. In some circumstances, this may be innocent behavior between two teens, adolescents just being adolescents. But in other cases, there can be serious consequences. As uncomfortable as it may be, parents need to be prepared to navigate the myriad issues that may surface when our kids send, trade and collect sexually-explicit selfies. Marc and David sit down with leading expert and journalist Anne Collier to explore the phenomena of teen...


Is sexting a "normal" part of growing up digital?

When it comes to sexting, most parents think, "Not my kid." But multiple studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that's not the case. Handing an Internet-connected camera (a smartphone) to an adolescent — who is wired to ignore consequences, obsess over popularity, and explore sexuality — means you should assume he or she will be exposed to sexting almost immediately (if not actively participate). Marc and David sit down with a high school freshman and senior, who explain that teen sexting...


How to Be a Digital Role Model for Your Kids

How do our own digital habits affect our kids' relationship with tech? Checking notifications at dinner and going to sleep with your phone may be setting norms you're not even aware of. Marc and David chat with Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute ( about how modeling good digital behavior is equally important as the conversations we have with our kids about tech. Balkam shares his list of bad tech habits all parents should break in 2019. Produced...


The Magical Age of 13.

Privacy law in the U.S. has one clear line: Treat everyone 12 and under as kids, and everyone 13 and older as adults -- at least when it comes to the online world. The core privacy law around kids using digital services was written in 1998 when the Internet was very different. It's been updated once, but the protections for kids are still limited and the rules are confusing. How did we get here? And what do we need to re-think when it comes to the safety and privacy of teens on the modern,...