When I was asked to review a copy of Growing Up Social, I just knew this was a book I wanted to add to my parenting resources. Raising children today is not the same as it was back when my parents were raising me. We didn’t have electronics to add as an additional education resource. The electronics of my day consisted of a calculator, an Atari, Commodore 64, and a 500 pound computer that took floppy disks.
I grew up running outside with no fear, running up and down the hills, playing make-believe with my friends and my brother. My husband had to be home when the street lights came one…lol. Although my boys play outside and are involved in a multitude of activities, they also enjoy their iPads, Kindles, and other electronic smart devices. I have noticed how addicting these devices can become, so we set strict time limits. However, it can easily slip away and as they get older and need the use of electronics more for school and research. I can see it becoming more of an issue. I am beginning to run into that some with my oldest. So what does a parent do? How can we equip our children to function in such a digitally rich world? How can we get our kids to see the value of turning OFF the device and engaging in meaningful family time? How can we as a family establish boundaries for our children that make a profound difference in their lives and teach them self-control?
There are many excuses that parents list as reasons to not enforce limits. Here are some mentioned in the book:
- “Life is busy; I don’t have time to enforce screen-time rules.”
- ” I couldn’t get my spouse to back up what I was doing.”
- “My kids threw a fit when I tried to make the change.”
- “It’s so hard to be consistent.”
Have you heard or *gasp* used some of these same excuses? I know I have. My most popular excuse is giving them screen time because I need to get things done. In other words, an electronic babysitter. Sigh.
Dr Chapman says, “The more a child is involved in screen time, the less time there is for interaction with parents, siblings, and friends.”
OUCH! That is a huge dose of reality isn’t it?
In the book, Dr Chapman breaks down ways to keep your child entertained without using electronics, even for those little ones under two.
It’s no secret that I am picky about my children’s entertainment choices. Unless you’re new to my blog, you’ve probably read my thoughts on Godly entertainment from Television to Music to Books. Dr Chapman also addresses this in Growing Up Social. Here are a few:
- What factual data is my child learning from this program?
- What kind of character traits is this program seeking to build in my child?
- How does this program treat family members?
- Is this program consistent with our family values?
Dr Chapman goes on after this detailed list (more details are in the book but I don’t want to spoil it!) and says, “It is our job as a parent to teach our children the difference between appropriate and inappropriate content. Do not leave the task to a teacher, pastor, or counselor. In the same way you would not allow your child to eat candy bars for dinner each night, you cannot allow your child to consume screen-time junk food. You are the gatekeeper of your child’s mental diet.”
I absolutely love that advice!!! We are the gatekeepers as parents. We cannot be our child’s friend. We must be their parent!
Here are a list of the chapters in the book:
- Screen Time: Too Much, Too Soon?
- The A+ Method for Relational Kids
- The A+ Skill of Affection
- The A+ Skill of Appreciation
- The A+ Skill of Anger Management
- The A+ Skill of Apology
- The A+ Skill of Attention
- Screen Time and Shyness
- Screen Time and the Brain
- Screen Time and the Love Languages
- Screen Time and Security
- Screen Time and Parental Authority
- Screen Time and the Single Parent
- Screen Time and You
Much more included in the back of the book! Seriously, this book is jammed FULL of information. I think this is a must have for all parents, including pastors, counselors, and anyone else who works with children. I love it so much I am actually going to read it again and highlight many notes that I want to have for myself and Clay. I give this book a 5/5! A must have!
If you want a copy you can order one below:
Also, I have a giveaway for my subscribers!!!!
*** I received my copy of Growing up Social from Propeller Entertainment in exchange for an honest and fair review***