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Raising Children in a World of Social Media & Technology – Wait Until 8th

About Brooke Shannon & Wait Until 8th

In January, in continuation of our Parent Partnership Series for this school year, we had the pleasure of having Brooke Shannon, Executive Director and Founder of the Wait Until 8th movement, join us for a time of discussion and Q&A. As a mother of three girls, Brooke works as a parent advocate in communities nationwide to help speak with families about a healthy relationship with technology in their homes.
Brooke's expertise as a national speaker on parenting in the digital arena (with appearances on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC National News, NPR, and CNN Headline News, to name a few) brought a valuable perspective to those of you who were able to join us. In addition, we heard from our very own Jes Guarneri (Middle School Dean of Student Culture), Aaron Jongko (Lower School Assistant Principal), and Dr. Derek Wilson (Dean of Technology & Innovation) on the staggering research around teenagers' smartphone/social media engagement.

Take the Pledge

By signing this pledge, you promise not to give your child a smartphone until at least the end of 8th grade as long as at least 10 families total from your child’s grade and school pledge.  If you would like your child to have a basic phone that just calls and texts, you still can sign the pledge! The basic phone avoids many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone. 

Learn more and sign the pledge here.

Resources for Parents:

Axis - Connecting Parents, Teens, & Jesus in a Disconnected World

Home Network Solutions:

Gryphon Router


Smartphone Solutions:



Apple Screen Time

Android Digital Wellbeing

Suggested Best Practices: 

  • Delay giving your child a Smartphone and when you do decide to give a phone, begin slowly (not fully loaded)
  • Treat your school device for teaching and learning NOT as a social or entertainment device
  • No devices in personal spaces (i.e. bedroom ... )
  • When you allow social media apps - Follow your kids and make sure their accounts are "private"
  • Discuss no creation of "Finsta" accounts
  • Talk with your kids about common internet scams and about how they play games online
  • Talk about "Phubbing" and its psychological effects
  • Be an example of healthy usage with device free rhythms like screen free parties and gatherings
  • Have all usernames and passwords to apps, social media sites, etc.
  • Spontaneously check text messages (or use Bark or other tools). Discuss that deleting text messages is not allowed.
  • Know which games have chat features and monitor who they are talking to
  • YouTube can be educational but watch it together so you can talk about what they are interested in. Ensure your student is logged in while watching so you can see their viewing history. Let your students know you can see what they are watching.