Category: Tips and Tricks

How to get money back from your kid’s $*%! in-app purchases on Amazon.

While it was announced on May 30, a lot of parents still don’t know that the FTC announced refunds are now available for unauthorized in-app purchases on the Amazon Appstore. That means you, kids, and your itchy little in-app purchase-happy fingers. This is all because the FTC decided that between November 2011 and May 2016, it was too easy for children to make purchases on Kindle devices using real cash, should it have been presented as “coins” or “lives” or “donuts” or whatever else that does not sound like “mom and dad’s actual hard-earned money that will be needed...

Read More

Tech trick: How to hide app purchases so your kids can’t download through Family Sharing.

I’m grateful to my daughter who (much to the chagrin of tweens and teens everywhere, I’m sure) tipped me off to a trick I wasn’t aware of: Kids can easily download new apps to their devices without your knowledge, if you have Apple Family Sharing in use. Now my kids do need my approval to download any new apps, because of the Ask to Buy feature I have enabled. And I love Apple Family Sharing, because it means I’m not paying three times when we all want to play Alto’s Adventure. (Don’t judge.) Related: A new study about kids’ online behavior might surprise...

Read More

9 creative kid portrait ideas that make genius Father’s Day gifts. Just add a frame!

If you missed the boat on photo gifts for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day…no, wait! You didn’t! We all live in the land of the smartphone cam, after all, and if you’ve got a camera  — especially that dandy iPhone 7S — and a place to print a photo, you’ve got what it takes for a creative kid portrait idea, that makes a wonderful surprise Father’s Day gift. Well, you’ll need the kids too, of course. Here are just a few creative kid portrait ideas for Father’s Day that we’ve seen found from incredibly talented parents around the web that...

Read More

Harvard rescinds 10 offers to students posting offensive Facebook memes.

For those of you with teens applying to college, if you’re wondering whether college admissions officers check student social media accounts, the definitive answer is “yes.” This is clearly evidenced by this week’s incident in which Harvard rescinded offers made to ten students who posted offensive Facebook memes in a “Harvard Memes for Horny Bourgeois Teens” group chat. Now, Facebook meme groups are quite common among prospective and current students. In fact, according to The Princeton Review (with whom I’ve been doing some work with over the last few months), Facebook meme groups for college students can be a positive way...

Read More

How tech can help keep kids safer with crowds and separation

When we saw the reports coming out of Manchester last night, we were completely devastated. And, we found ourselves thinking about what we would have done if our children (some of whom are tweens, and Ariana Grandé fans, by the way) had been separated from us like so many were. So with that in mind, we’re sharing tips for parents on how to talk with your kids about crowds and separation over on Cool Mom Picks today. From teaching kids what to say if they’re dialing 911 from a cell phone, to how they can use social media (even...

Read More

Worried about your tween or teen’s mental wellbeing? Avoid this popular app.

In a recent survey of 1500 young people aged 14-24, researchers discovered that Instagram was cited as the most damaging to a young person, followed closely by Snapchat, and then Facebook. In fact, YouTube was the only of the 5 networks (which included Twitter, as well), that was seen as positive. Yikes! Related: The deadly Blue Whale online suicide game targeting teens. Respondents noted that using Instagram (and Snapchat) increased their feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, which researchers speculate is due to the increased visual nature of both apps. Of course, these are two of the most popular apps for tweens...

Read More

How to use the fun new Instagram 3-D facial filters. Wheeeee! Snapchatty

As someone who’s not on Snapchat (what? I’m old!) I admit I’m excited about the novelty of the new Instagram 3D facial filters, as anyone who follows our @CoolMomPicks Instagram Stories can tell today. I put together the quick, Cliff’s Notes version below, for you visual learners, but here’s step by step just what to do to use your fun new starter pack of 8 Instagram 3-D facial filters. Related: How to use new Facebook story. It’s like Facebook and Instagram story had a baby!   1. Be sure to update your Instagram app for iOS or Android to the May 15 release....

Read More

How to find and listen to podcasts on your iPhone. And why you should.

Just yesterday I was chatting with a couple of my mom friends at my daughter’s track club about podcasts and I was surprised to discover that neither of them knew that they could easily access podcasts right on their iPhone. “Wait, they’re free?” one mom asked. “When would I listen to them?” asked the other. So, after giving them a quick tutorial on how to find podcasts on their iPhone (Yes, they’re free!), and explaining to them that podcasts can be great for commutes, gym, running, making dinner, or just giving your eyeballs a screen break, I figured it would...

Read More

Do you know these 3 handy iPhone email tricks?

We’re not huge fans of sending emails on the fly, even with the “Sent from our iPhone and talk-to-text hates us” warning at the bottom. But if we do, there are 3 handy iPhone email tricks we use to make them look as buttoned up as they when we’re sitting at our laptop, well other than deleting that tag line at the end. Related: 2 quick iPhone tricks for sharing texts and voice mails 1. How to insert a photo into iPhone email You don’t have to email someone from a photo. You can insert photos and videos very easily...

Read More

5 ways to use tech to help your tweens and teens get better sleep

Just this week, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) released new recommendations for middle and high school students, stating they should not start school until 8:30am, which for my middle schooler would be a full hour and a half later than she needs to be at school. Additionally, they suggest kids 13-18 should be getting at least eight to ten hours of sleep per night, because, as they noted, it can greatly improve everything from school performance to reaction time (which is important if you’ve got kids who drive). Until schools are able to make adjustments to their start...

Read More

Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

Pin It on Pinterest