Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World-Review
Just reviewed this and I HIGHLY recommend it! In fact, I want to give a copy away for FREE . All you have to do is leave a comment here, on this post, and on January 20, I will pick a winner using my very professional method: drawing a name out of a hat! I’ll notify the winner via email!
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The cover of this book says it all. Two small children at the dinner table facing opposite each other, with eyes glued to their phones.
We live in a screen-driven world and we aren’t going to change that. As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our kids how to manage it. But it’s not easy. It stinks when our kids don’t like us because we set boundaries for their good. And because it IS such a battle, we often hesitate to engage, not sure if it’s really worth it.
I’ve been mom for 24 years. We have eight children (ages 10-24), so I’ve watched the transition from when our oldest children were little and there was no such thing as the internet to having 4 teen boys in the house who have phones, laptops and X-box. (And a 10 year old boy who LOVES Minecraft).
It’s been an uphill battle creating and keeping reasonable boundaries. So when I was asked to review a book on “Growing up Social (raising relational kids in a screen driven world)” by Arlene Pellicane and Dr. Gary Chapman, I jumped at the chance.
And I’m SO glad I did. Even though my mom instincts have told me screen time should be limited, this book was a strong confirmation of that. Filled with all kinds of very interesting information and research, it has solidified my determination to teach our kids to manage screen time. But even more than this, the book goes on to give real practical counsel on how to relate better to our kids. When we relate better to them, they will relate better to others. We lead by example.
And that’s the other great part of this book: It teaches how to relate better to our kids and why, but ALSO gives real life examples, real conversations, real words to use in REAL life. We learn not only how teach our kids to limit screen time and what behaviors to look for that indicate our child has been on too much, but how to fill that time with quality activities and conversations. And this makes us better parents and better people with better relationships.
These are not pie in the sky suggestions, but practical ideas that we can use as a springboard to be creative in figuring out what works for OUR particular family.
One of the most interesting chapters of the book was the chapter about the skill of attention. It’s something that is going downhill FAST in our society and it’s a legitimate concern. As a homeschooling mom (20 years), I can attest to the fact that our children NEED the skill of being able to keep focused on one task for a long period of time. “Growing children especially need calm and quiet to develop those muscles of attention, focus and deep thinking. Yet the screen world does not promote any of those things.” Then the authors go on to talk about how screen time effects what our kids expect from life and show the benefits of replacing portions of that time with activities that will combat unrealistic expectations AND actually grow their attention spans.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the value of playtime for kids. Arlene and Gary (the authors) agree, “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, PLAY is essential to cognitive development in children.” Our kids need to be kids. And being kids means doing kid things like playing, exploring, wandering and investigating. Time to have their own thoughts instead of being bombarded with information. We need to fight for our kids’ right to BE kids.
People who know how to relate well to others are quickly becoming a commodity that is hard to find. Do your family a huge favor: Read this book to find out ways to implement limited screen time and grow relational kids. And, YES, it’s a battle worth waging. Your kids will thank you someday.
Check it out here: Growing Up Social