Our Lifestyle Panel looks into the importance of teaching our kids emotional literacy, social media for kids under 12 and getting Apple to recognize smartphone addiction.

Facebook app for kids raises red flags

Facebook is targeting kids ages 6 to 12 with a new messenging app, Messenger Kids.

This is a stand-alone app that allows children to send messages to a list of approved contacts, which parents control from their Facebook account.

But some are raising concerns about the need for this kind of interaction, and has parents questioning at what age children really need to be on social media.

Demanding Apple addresses smartphone addiction

In an open letter, two major investors in Apple are calling on the company to recognize smartphone addiction and to take the lead in combatting it.

The letter says Apple needs to address the “growing public health crisis” of smartphone addiction in young people. Among their recommendations are more tools for parents to help restrict what their children see and use on their devices.

Apple responded with a statement, which reads in part: "We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them. We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids."

Helping our kids express their emotions

Like everyone, children have many emotions, feelings and even mood swings, but they may not yet know how to express those emotions in a safe and healthy way.

The parenting experts on our Lifestyle panel discuss the potential impact of poor emotional literacy and what parents can do to help their children develop those skills.

Our Lifestyle Panel includes: Dr. Ganz Ferrance, Registered Psychologist with the Ferrance Group; Judy Arnall, certified parent educator with Professional Parenting Canada, and Diane Swiatek, founder and director of Banbury Crossroads School in Calgary.