My kids stair-step down through the school-age years, both genders. I will try to be brief with my answers.
1. All the electronic devices taking children's attention
Assuming you're the parent, it's your job to set the boundaries (and enforce them).
Mine are allowed 30 minutes of TV OR electronica play per day, off-line. The boys gravitate toward strategy games on the laptop in the den
(positioned so everyone can see what is being done on it). The girls like a dance game on the wii. The older kids are allowed to go on-line to work
on class projects with kids we know, on a case by case basis. They like face-time. We know their friends' families (attend the same private
school), and so we know their friends' boundaries, too.
All of them are encouraged to play outdoors at least some, but are FORCED outside in the hour before dinner. They get rowdier and rowdier as mom
tries to cook the food, so everyone who isn't cooking goes outside and plays on the playset or tosses a baseball or climbs a tree or something.
Most recently they have been making slingshots from an old bicycle tire. (They think I don't know.) The girls love to swing in the back yard.
2. Doom porn and fear mongering by MSM
No offense to the OP, but I think that is more about your own issues that the kids. My kids have been telling each other ebola jokes, and asked if we
could order some of the plush toys! Then again, the middle-school-ages kids like to play "survival" and pretend that they are on a mission through
post-apocalyptic downtown America... So I wouldn't say that they are overly upset by the TV. They don't watch the news; usually kid programming
with the scant time allowed for TV.
3. Online bullying and bullying in general
Wife and I control their online presence (every text to or from them is CC'd to one of our smartphones). The kids go to a private school that takes
an active stance against physical hazing / bullying (by expulsion). It isn't something we've had to deal with as a family yet, thank God.
4. Stranger danger
The Boy Scouts of America provides excellent discussion material for scouts, that does a good job of expressing the danger without overly sexualizing
the children. I volunteer at local homeless shelters, and so my kids have grown up knowing about stranger danger and how to comport themselves when
mom and dad are helping someone who may not have self-control.
5. Where they go and what they do, online and off.
This has been a bone of contention for the older ones. They don't have a house key, or know the alarm code---they don't need to! They are not
"left to their own devices." There are boundaries where they can ride their bikes, or hike in the woods out behind the house. There is always a
plan, always a time-table. No one just wanders around, looking for trouble. The older ones are allowed to have friends over, but we know their
friends' parents quite well (members of same church, private school, 4-H, etc.) I'm fine with those adults disciplining my kids, and I haven't
hesitated to parent their kids when they are at my house.
Generally, I am more comfortable with the kids bringing their friends here, than going over to someone else's house. Of course, we are the nightmare
parents. When a new kid walks in with the herd and just ambles down the hall, I call them out: "Hello there! I don't believe we've met. I'm
Mr. Tovenar, and this is my house; welcome to it. Now what's your name?"
I've even stopped one who was 'just leaving.' "Hey, there, kiddo---does your mom know your here? Because if she does, then she trust me to be
responsible for your safety. And you cannot just leave here, having your mom think you're still under my roof, when you're out doing who-knows
what. So let's call up your mom so I can introduce myself and let her know that you're headed home. How long of a walk is it from here? When can
she expect you home for supper? Let's call her right now and make sure she's comfortable with all this...."
The ones I don't really want hanging around my kids usually don't ever come back. Frankly, some of the young males are sort of checking to see
whether I give a rip or not, or whether it is ok to go upstairs and maybe make a move one of my daughters. Boys aren't allowed upstairs, bub. My
house. My rules. My Alsatians. My gun collection.
My oldest boy sort of set the stage for the younger kids. There is a lot less rebelliousness than you might expect. But then, my rigor with the
established rules (strictness?) is balanced by rewarding them for being on our team. If they are interested (and they all are, up to a point), they
are allowed to come on camping trips or hunting if they are old enough. They also get to take the four-wheeler or work on pet projects and hobbies.
I spend time every day with each of them, and "play" with each at least once a week. Building lincoln logs or playing dolls, playing chess or
teaching them to drive, as the case may be. Sometimes more, but never less.
If you put the investment in, you have more clout with your children. When they get to be teenaged, they still listen to you over their own peers,
if---IF--- you have spent years establishing your credibility. Mom and Dad have been here the whole time. Not divorcing, not moving in and moving
out. I was here before you, and I'll be here after you've moved out. And the rules will still be the same when you come back to visit for
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The baseline is that you have to earn the moral authority with your children. Whatever the basis of your value system, they will only accept it based
on how "real" you are with them. If you are a hypocrite, or dismissive of their opinions and fears, you lose your parental voice. If you are
controlling, or don't empathize with their plight (peer pressure and the need to "look cool") then you don't matter. On the other hand, they will
respect you, and your rules, even if they don't agree with them, if they can sense you have superior integrity.
Seriously. The TV lies to them. Their teachers lie. Their friends lie. If you are the only one telling them the truth, then you have an "in"
with them that surpasses everyone else. It really is that potent. Every one of them is different, but the ones who have grown up so far trust me
more than any other human input. One of them wrote an essay about "dad" as the only real hero they've ever known. Sure, the kid was working me
when he wrote that. But, if he realizes that such an essay would earn him brownie points with adults everywhere, then my side has already won.
all the best