Computers and technology have been a part of my life and my husband's life since we were both very young. We both had computers much earlier than our peers and swap stories of the fun and challenges of using early computers. Technology is something that we both are really interested in, and this love of gadgets and devices is definitely shared by our kids. But, like most parents navigating a world where technology and electronic devices are everywhere and are easy for even young kids to use, my husband and I know the importance of finding balance and setting limits. So I was really interested to read a new book by Gary Chapman (author of The 5 Love Languages books) and Arlene Pellicane called Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. Here's a bit about the book, from a press release that I received:
Children today are no longer playing hide-and-seek outside or curling up with a good book—instead they’ve been introduced to a world of constant digital entertainment through television, video games, and mobile devices. And while technology has the potential to add value to our lives and families, it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional and social development.
In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the necessary tools to make positive changes…starting today. Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an over dependence on screens. Plus, you’ll learn to teach the five A+ skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.
I have to admit, I mostly read this book at my kids' swim lessons, while sitting next to whichever kid wasn't currently swimming, while that kid played on an electronic device. I felt a bit hypocritical about that! But, that screen time at swim lessons was factored into overall daily limits, so I didn't need to feel too guilty.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It's not a book that bashes electronic use or recommends a screen-free home. It's a book that encourages parents to set limits and be aware of the effects that technology use has on children. And the book doesn't just focus on what not to do, it also discusses positive behaviors in kids and ways to help children grow up with skills they will need to succeed in the world. I thought the book was well-written and easy to read, with lots of personal anecdotes from the authors.
This is a great parenting book that I would recommend to any parent. And I have good news- I'm giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Open to US and Canadian mailing addresses, enter at the Rafflecopter widget below.