Snapchat + Teen Hairstyles + First Cell Phone Advice | Ep. 133

Snapchat + Teen Hairstyles + First Cell Phone Advice | Ep. 133

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Are you ready for your child’s first cell phone?

There’s a lot to consider before putting your child’s first cell phone under the tree this Christmas. If you’re not sure what to look for or how to set your teen up for success, keep reading or hit the play button! We’ve got talking points, tips, and phone options to consider before you complete your order.

We’ll also give you the latest on teen hairstyles for boys and girls and what you need to know about what’s new on Snapchat.

What’s new on Snapchat?

Before we jump into the latest features, let’s go over the basics of Snapchat for those who are new to the platform. Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to share photos and videos with friends and followers. The defining feature of Snapchat is the ephemeral nature of its content – messages, photos, and stories disappear after a set time, adding a sense of spontaneity and impermanence to the experience.

New Features

Live Maps

With Live Maps, you can see where your friends are and, in return, they can see your location. To enhance privacy, you can enter “ghost mode” in your settings, ensuring your location remains hidden. Live Maps also showcases “Hot Spots,” allowing you to explore trending areas and see other users’ posts, even if they’re not in your friend list.


Snapchat’s answer to the popular short-form video format seen on Reels and TikTok is called “Spotlight.” This feature lets users create and share short video content with a wide audience, giving you a chance to showcase your creativity and gain followers.


For those who want an enhanced Snapchat experience, Snapchat+ is available for a monthly fee of $3.99. With Snapchat+, you can customize your Snapchat experience by moving or removing the Snapchat AI chatbot, setting custom story expiration lengths, personalizing badges, enjoying Story Boost, and having extra Snap Replays. While some of these features may seem trivial, they can be a fun way to personalize your Snapchat usage.

Family Center

The introduction of Family Center is a significant step by Snapchat to address concerns about child safety on the platform. This in-app tool allows parents to monitor their teenage children’s interactions on Snapchat without invading their privacy. Parents can see who their children are interacting with, and Snapchat has plans to enhance this feature in the future. However, parents cannot set time limits for app usage or eavesdrop on private conversations.

Pros of Snapchat Parental Monitoring

The Family Center feature allows parents to keep an eye on their teenage children’s Snapchat activity, providing an extra layer of security.

Discover Fun New Places on Snap Maps

Live Maps and Hot Spots make it exciting to discover new places and activities, both locally and globally.

A Way to Stay Connected

Snapchat remains a popular platform for staying connected with friends and family through photos, videos, and messages.

A Way for Young People to Get News

The “Discover” tab offers a unique way for younger users to access news, trends, and entertainment.

Cons of Snapchat Limited Monitoring

While Family Center provides some parental control, it’s not as robust as some parents may desire, lacking features like setting time limits.

Location Tracking

The Live Maps feature, while exciting, raises concerns about location tracking and privacy.

Disappearing Messages and Photos

The ephemeral nature of Snapchat content can be a double-edged sword, as it can lead to misunderstandings or miscommunication.

Whether you love Snapchat or not, it remains one of the most popular apps among teens. It’s crucial to be aware of and use its features responsibly- to be aware of the privacy implications, especially when it comes to location tracking and the ephemeral nature of the platform. With the introduction of the Family Center, Snapchat is taking steps to address these concerns and make the platform safer for young users. As always, staying informed and using the platform wisely is the key to enjoying Snapchat to the fullest!

What’s trending in teen hairstyles

Hairstyles have always played a pivotal role in expressing individuality and cultural heritage. Keep reading for a look at the hottest teen hair trends for 2023, as well as the 2019 legislative development initiated by Dove, the CROWN Act.

Trending Styles for Boys


The ’80s-inspired mullet is making a fierce comeback. This iconic hairstyle, characterized by shorter hair on the sides and back with longer hair at the top, offers a unique blend of vintage charm and contemporary flair. With modern variations and a hint of rebellion, the mullet is capturing the hearts of young boys looking to make a statement with their hair.

Perm Fronts

Perms are no longer limited to your grandma’s era. Boys are embracing perm fronts, adding texture and volume to their hair while keeping the sides short and neat. This trend allows boys to experiment with their style and achieve a unique look that stands out.


Swoops are all about bangs and fringes that create a dramatic, eye-catching effect. They add a touch of sophistication and can be adapted to various lengths and textures, giving boys the flexibility to express their personality through their hairstyle.

Trending Hairstyles for Girls

Bangs (Taylor Bangs & Curtain Bangs)

Bangs never go out of style, and this year we’re seeing the resurgence of Taylor bangs (inspired by Taylor Swift) and curtain bangs. These styles frame the face beautifully, offering a chic and timeless look that can be customized to suit any hair type or length.

Natural Curls

Embracing natural curls is a growing trend that emphasizes the beauty of one’s hair in its true form. Girls with naturally curly hair are flaunting their stunning locks, and many are opting for shorter, textured cuts that emphasize their curls’ natural bounce and vibrancy.

Heatless Curls/Crimped

Girls are exploring heatless methods to achieve those coveted beachy waves and crimped textures. Heatless curls and crimps are not only more gentle on the hair but also showcase a fun and effortless style that’s perfect for any occasion.

Embracing Natural Hair

  • 80% of Black women reported having to change their hair to fit into the workplace.
  • Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair.
  • Shockingly, 100 percent of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who report experiencing hair discrimination state they experienced the discrimination by the age of 10.

Starting from September 1, 2023, the CROWN Act came into effect in Texas schools, marking a significant step forward. The Texas statute clearly states that any dress or grooming policy adopted by a school district “may not discriminate against a hair texture or protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race.” This law is a beacon of hope for a more inclusive and respectful world where people are free to express their cultural heritage and personal style without fear of discrimination.

In conclusion, 2023 is all about embracing diversity and individuality in hair trends. Whether you’re a boy looking to channel the spirit of the ’80s or a girl proudly flaunting your natural curls, your hair is a canvas for self-expression. Additionally, the CROWN Act’s progression is a significant step towards fostering an inclusive society where everyone is free to be themselves, with their natural hair celebrated and respected. So, go ahead and embrace the hair trend that resonates with you and remember that your hair is a beautiful reflection of your unique identity.

Are you thinking of getting your kid their first cell phone this Christmas?

The holiday season is approaching, and if you’re contemplating whether to gift your child their first cell phone, you’re not alone. The question of when to introduce your child to a smartphone is a topic that many parents grapple with, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In this blog post, we’ll explore the complexities of this decision and offer some guidance to help you navigate this milestone.

No “Right Age” for a First Cell Phone

It’s essential to understand that there’s no universal “right age” for a child to receive their first cell phone. While the “Wait Until 8th” pledge has gained popularity, it’s worth noting that it’s becoming less practical in the modern age of technology. The demands of school, the need for communication, and the prevalence of digital tools make the decision more complex than ever.

Recent Trends in Kids’ Smartphone Ownership

Recent survey data shows that 42% of kids in the United States have their first cell phone by the age of 10. By the time they reach 14, smartphone ownership climbs to an astounding 91%. While these numbers offer a snapshot of current trends, they shouldn’t be the sole basis for your decision.

Developmental Readiness Over Age

Experts emphasize that developmental readiness is more important than age when considering a child’s first cell phone. Some important developmental milestones that might guide your decision include:

  1. Complex Thoughts and Improved Reasoning: Can your child handle more complex thoughts and reasoning? Are they capable of making responsible decisions?
  2. Developing Solutions: Is your child showing signs of developing their own solutions to problems? Are they becoming more self-reliant?
  3. Empathy and Consideration: Is your child demonstrating empathy and thinking of others? Are they mindful of how their actions affect those around them?
  4. Understanding Right and Wrong: Are they developing a stronger sense of right and wrong? Are they able to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior?
  5. Respecting Boundaries: Is your child responding appropriately to limits and boundaries set by parents and teachers?

Talking About Expectations

Before you decide to get your child a cell phone, it’s crucial to have a conversation about expectations. Consider creating a contract together that outlines how they will and won’t use their phone. Here are some important questions to get the conversation started:

  • What would you use the phone for, and why do you need it?
  • How much daily phone usage do you think is appropriate?
  • Where will you charge your device at night?
  • Are there times during the day when phone use should be restricted?
  • What are the rules about using the phone at school?
  • What consequences should be in place if the phone is lost?

Alternatives to Smartphones

If you’re not comfortable giving your child a smartphone but want to provide them with a communication device, there are alternatives to consider:

Smart Watches
Options like the Gabb Watch, Apple Watch SE, Gizmo Watch, and TickTalk Watch offer limited functionality, allowing communication without full internet access. However, be aware that many schools are now banning smartwatches in the classroom, so they may need to remain in lockers or backpacks during school hours.

Kid Phones
Devices like the Gabb Phone, Pinwheel, Light Phone 2, and Wisephone are designed for children and provide essential communication features without the distractions of a full-fledged smartphone.

Flip Phones
Consider getting a basic flip phone with no internet access. While this may limit some features, it can provide a communication tool without the added distractions of smartphones. The decision to get your child their first cell phone is a personal one that depends on many factors. Focus on your child’s developmental readiness and have an open, honest conversation about expectations and responsibilities. There are various communication alternatives to consider if you’re not ready to provide a smartphone.

Ultimately, the key is to make a decision that aligns with your family’s values and ensures your child’s safety and well-being in the digital age.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about your child’s first cell phone, teen hairstyle trends and Snapchat.

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Learning to Unplug as a Family

Learning to Unplug as a Family

This post was originally written by Sarah Brooks for her blog over at Life as of Late. Her blog is a great (and hilarious) commentary on parenting little ones, but she also has a unique and honest perspective on parenting teenagers in a digital world. We wanted to share this post here because we love the heart and suggestions behind this blog, BUT we also wanted to share this so you will head over to her blog and give her some love. If you are struggling with how to parent in the midst of Snapchat, Instagram and other social media sites, she is your gal, and her posts on social media will change your life! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Sarah!


Junior high is a rough time. It’s awkward, it’s pimply…you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you belong. You’re trying not to panic about your body parts that are growing and doing weird, new things.

Junior high is a lot of social experimentation. Not necessarily experimenting with drugs and alcohol, more like experimenting with friendships.

Learning what is kind vs. what hurts people’s feelings. Learning what traits draw others in vs. alienate the general population. Learning the difference between high-energy and just plain obnoxious.

I wouldn’t wish my junior high self on my worst enemy.


When I had a bad day in junior high – when I was super obnoxious and alienated everyone in the vicinity with my hyperactive energy – I got to go home, relax, maybe watch an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and start again the next day.

My social life took a break at 3pm and reconvened in the morning.


It. never. stops.

If social media is communication for teens….if social media is their social life, then as long as they have a phone in their possession, their social life never ends.

Their friends follow them home in their pocket. They sit with them on the couch. They hang out in their bedroom.

Their bad days don’t just last from 7:30am to 3pm, they last 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

They do a terrible job of unplugging.

Actually, let me rephrase that.

We do a terrible job of unplugging.

We can’t expect our kids to know how to unplug when we’re still replying to work emails at 10pm. We can’t expect them to turn it off when we spend every spare second mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.



starting small

I don’t have teenagers. I have small kids. But all too soon those kids will grow into junior high kids. And then high school kids.

And I don’t want to wait until we have an issue before we start setting technology boundaries.

And, really, I don’t want to wait until I see a screen addiction in my children before I start addressing the addiction in myself.

So here are a few of our family rules. It isn’t exhaustive, just some ideas that are helping us pave the way now for better conversations later.

Not yet for teenagers, for ourselves. For our family.



When my oldest was 3, we went to the park. I let him run up ahead and start playing on the playground while I finished up an email. He ran to the top of the slide, looked down at me and said, “Mommy – will you come play with me? You can bring your phone!”

Oh, ok, daggers in my heart.

Here’s the thing: I was emailing a friend of mine about a fundraiser we were having to support orphans in Africa. I mean, couldn’t have been doing anything better with my phone. But did my son see it that way? No. He saw a mom with a screen in front of her face.

It’s not about never being on your phone.

It’s about finding good times and places to use technology.

It’s about asking your spouse and your kids, “Hey, when am I on my phone when you wish I weren’t?” Turns out there’s always an answer.

Here are a few of our tech-free zones:

  • dinner table (both at home and at restaurants)
  • riding in the car with spouse
  • playing at the park
  • anywhere we play with our friends



If you’re going to watch tv, watch tv. If you’re going to play on the iPad, play on the iPad. If you’re going to read on the Kindle, read on the Kindle.

It’s ridiculous to play Candy Crush while watching tv while texting while watching YouTube videos. That’s a straight up self-control issue.

Cut the double, triple, quadruple screen time.

Choose one and go with it.



Can you imagine what would happen if we reached for something other than our phone first thing in the morning?

Can you imagine if we started our day with our spouse and with our family instead of with the world? Work? Instagram?

When our kids see us make this a priority, it sets the stage for the later rule of no phones in your room overnight. Period. (Like, really. See this post.)



When Daddy comes home from work, we put down the Kindle and run to greet him. When grandparents FaceTime, we pause the tv and talk to them. When friends are over, screens get turned off and put away.

We’re not on our devices all the time. Not even a lot, really. But if there is ever a choice between greeting someone we love and continuing to watch Paw Patrol, the screen will never win.

And if my kids have a hard time turning it off or putting it away without whining, we lose the privilege for a while.

People are more important than technology. Always.

Unplugging is hard. But watching our kids learn their value and identity from an online world they don’t know how to turn off is harder.

We’ve got to figure out how to unplug well now.



impart your wisdom, oh interwebs.

Sarah Brooks is a blogger, mom of 3 boys and social media expert! She has spoken across the country at various groups, churches, and schools about social media (the good, the bad, and the confusing), most of which stemmed from a post she wrote called Parents: A Word About Instagram. As a Millenial herself, she is passionate about bridging the gap between parents and teens on all things social media. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram!