CARES Programs & Resources

Are You Smarter Than Your Cell Phone?

CARES Program, featuring Dr. Frank Bartolomeo, Ph.D., LCSW, Silver Hill Hospital

Dr. Frank Bartolomeo discusses how to talk to your teenager about social media, and how to gain insight into your child’s experience, mood, and interaction with others in the digital world.

Dr. Bartolomeo’s slides can be downloaded here. You can also download the rack card handed out at the program here.

Additional Resources:

#DetoxYourFeed with the Dove Self-Esteem Project

Trailer for Fake Famous on Netflix

CARES Program, Elizabeth Ortiz-Schwartz, MD

Research has shown that in general, one hour and no more than three hours per day, can result in an adequate degree of happiness and adjustment. 

CARES Program

How much is too video gaming? Video games are becoming an increasingly pressing issue as they consume more and more of kids’ time and attention. Hear from experts in the field and a young adult who struggled with video game overuse.

CARES Program, author Diana Graber

Middle and High School parents will learn how to help their children use the digital world wisely. Leave with resources to help your child build a healthy relationship with technology. Topics will include safety concerns and online reputation.

CARES Program, author Diana Graber

We are all using the internet and social media so much more now. Author Diana Graber will advise parents on how best to handle the increased screen time in this current climate, guide them on how to set limits when screens are the only way to connect and address parents’ worries about how families will get back to screen time limits once life returns to normal.

CARES Program, Jake Kircher

The three rules of social media: (1) everything posted online is public, (2) there’s no such thing as anonymity online, only perceived anonymity, (3) there’s no such thing as online privacy, only perceived online privacy.

Additional Resources

Here are some unique gift ideas for the holidays to help promote off-screen time for kids and teens!

Almost 40% of youth and teens with mobile devices in their room report that they wake up and check it at least once a night. Teens who use social media longer than three hours a day were more likely to report going to bed after 11 pm and waking up during the night.

Many teens who play a lot of video games also have happy, full lives—being social offline, doing other things for the challenge that lets them build needed self-competence, family time, and much more. When kids and teens have lots going on off the screen, it is a great sign of mental wellbeing! Yet, many hours on video games can be a red flag when there is very little happening outside of game time. Are they experiencing stressors offline for which gaming is an escape?

“No matter what is happening with my kids’ time on screens — including exposure to yucky stuff like upsetting media, unappealing role models, manipulative ads, and on and on — I know that my immediate family, our extended family, and friends, are often modeling and talking about positive values. And those values seep into my kids and will guide them through life.”

Forty percent of teens say that most school nights they get less than seven hours of sleep and there’s a strong association between more screen time and less sleep. Since 2012, when the prevalence of teens owning smartphones started to increase, the number of hours teens sleep has steeply decreased

Apple’s operating system iOS 12 introduced Screen Time, a feature parents have been waiting for. With it, we have a new tool to help prevent excessive screen time for our youth, as well as ourselves.

Here are some apps, websites, and articles about screen time and internet safety.

Common Sense has been the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools. Every day, millions of parents and educators trust Common Sense reviews and advice to help them navigate the digital world with their kids. Together with policymakers, industry leaders, and global media partners, we’re building a digital world that works better for all kids, their families, and their communities.

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Using technology is an exciting privilege, but it is also a huge responsibility. This agreement is to help parents and teenagers discuss how to use technology safely and wisely.

Child Mind Institute

Your child might be embarrassed to tell you if they’re being cyberbullied. Or they might be afraid you’ll make it worse. But if you find out it’s happening, it’s serious enough to do something about it.

Maybe your child came home from the first day of 6th grade saying that everyone else has a phone, or your fourth grader had a sleep-over and claims that all of the other kids have better gaming systems, or your seventh grader is the last one not posting on Tik Tok. Is the “everyone else” factor ever important to consider? What if the “everyone else” factor is all about waiting until a certain age for access and your independent and responsible kid is ready now?

Family Online Safety Institute

Need help talking with your kids about online safety? Want to know about parental controls? Looking for a simple set of rules to use with your children? FOSI’s Good Digital Parenting provides you with videos, tip sheets, resources, blogs, and more.

Teens have become accustomed to the ubiquitous presence of digital media, which they rely on for connection, engagement, and entertainment—even when they are supposed to be sleeping. New research suggests that constant connection, especially when devices are in the bedroom, can have more serious effects that we may have anticipated.

Child Mind Institute

The vast majority of children and adolescents in the United States play video games. Although many children play them in moderation, without adverse consequences, others become obsessed with gaming. Parents may become worried when a child is neglecting homework to play games, or is staying up all night gaming and is too tired to get up for school the next day.

Fox 61 News

Dr. Amy Alamar has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over fifteen years. She has conducted significant research in the areas of student stress, parent involvement, learning and instruction, curriculum design and implementation, and using reflective practice to support engagement and communication. Watch Dr. Alamar on Fox 61 News talk about kids and gaming disorders.

Saying no and being able to tolerate the myriad of emotions that result, such as guilt, self-doubt, and sadness is challenging for many people. On top of that, the child may add on their own negative emotions to the “no,” such as anger and disgust. Having to tolerate any one of these emotions, let alone several of them at one time, is a major undertaking.

ABC News

For some parents, understanding the pressure of social media can be difficult, and as a result, some teens may feel they cannot talk to their parents about cyberbullying, body image problems and other struggles they face in their day-to-day life.


Teens seem to add new words to their vocabulary every other day, and many of these are used online. Here’s a handy list to help you!

Violent games, even non-gory ones like Fortnite, warrant conversations with our youth. Parents need to decide if they will allow such games in the home. Whatever decision is made, the rationale behind the decision should be shared with the kids. It sounds easy, but it can be tricky to verbalize these kinds of thoughts around our kids. Hearing our kids’ and teens’ input is also crucial. We want them to have chances to talk about all of this.

TikTok videos are 15 seconds to 3 minutes long. An attractive aspect of the app is that it allows users to collaborate with each other. Users and their friends can make their videos together, adding another social feature to the app that Vine didn’t offer. The app’s user base, 50% of which being between the ages of 13-24, have created makeup application videos, adventurous challenges like these and self-deprecating skits about social awkwardness, mental health, etc. set to music.

Internet Safety 101

Internet Safety 101® is a digitally-based internet safety resource designed to educate, equip and empower parents, educators and other adults with the knowledge and resources needed to protect children from Internet dangers including pornography, predators, cyberbullies and threats related to online gaming, social networking and mobile devices.