Thursday, November 13, 2014

Growing Up Social: raising relational kids in a screen-driven world (Book Review and Giveaway)

“WHAT is THAT?” my 17 year old son asked, as he paused to look at the new book on our coffee table.  He read the title out loud.  “Growing Up Social…”clip_image001

“OH man.”  His eyebrows went up and his voice dripped with disapproval.  “…Raising relational kids in a screen-driven world…?  Yikes, Mom.  This book looks highly questionable.”  He put down the book and continued walking, shaking his head and texting as he went.

No doubt he sensed an impending threat to his electronic apple cart.

I giggled, reminded of how my kids beg me not to go out with my girlfriends.  They think the sole purpose of our outings is to collaborate on fantastic new discipline tactics.  I’m sure he pictured this book inspiring fabulous round-table-discussions at next outing.  I love it.

Like many of my mom-friends, I have worried about how much of our family time is being sucked into the black hole of electronics. 

Screens are everywhere.  They’re at home, in the schools, in the stores, along the streets, and even in our pockets.   

It’s not uncommon for my teenagers to sit in front of the TV, with their homework spread out in their lap, a pencil in one hand, a phone in the other and a set of ear buds hanging from one ear.  They text, listen to music, watch Sports Center, AND… according to them…are “doing their best work” on a school project.

Last night, I caught my 15 year old doing all of the above, only his pencil was in his mouth so he could hold his phone and his IPod. 

He was the poster child for electronic intervention.

Even in the car, I find myself talking to the kids and waiting for an answer----only to realize that not a single child can hear me.  Each one of them is absorbed in his screen while an ear bud plugs up every single ear.

It’s tempting to hold an ear-bud-burning. 

As a mother of two teenagers (as well as a ten year old), I know how hard it is to establish unpopular limits on screen time.  Today’s kids do everything electronically. 

Yet, adult electronic-dependency is growing as well.  Eye-contact is fast becoming a rarity.  Screens are given priority over real life. 

When you have to practice defensive driving while pushing a cart in Wal-Mart, there might be a problem, yes?

*  *  *

So I jumped at the chance to read this book!  It could not have come at a better time for me as a mom.  If you would like to see a trailer of the book, you can click here.

In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane lay out eye-popping statistics that will have parents sitting up and taking notice of how their kids spend their time.  I found myself inspired to take back our “minivan”, our home, and our family time. 

I’m sure my guys will be delighted, lol!

Gary and Arlene have written this book to help us evaluate how and when our family uses screen time, and offer practical suggestions on ways we can set healthy limits.

They challenge us to help our children develop healthy social habits, which of course need to be modeled in our own lives.  Be prepared to be convicted.  I know I was.  Just saying.  ;)

They also encourage parents to consider the love languages of their children in order to make sure each of their love tanks are being filled.  When screens babysit a child, valuable opportunities for the parent to connect with that child are missed.

To be sure, there are wonderful things to be gained from advances in technology. But there are also tangible costs and real dangers that parents need to consider.  A screen will never replace a person’s need for relationship. 

I highly recommend this book!!!

If you live in the US or Canada, and would like the chance to win your own copy, (and thrill your own teenager, lol!) leave a comment below by Monday, November 17, 2014.  Please be sure there is a way I can contact you should you win.  The winner will be notified on Tuesday the 18th.

Good luck!!  This is truly a book worth reading!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

1 comment:

Christine said...

We've always had strict limits on the kids' electronics and TV time. As they get older, I have loosened up a bit, but it makes me crazy to see my kids on their iPods. They don't ask to play a game nearly as often as they used to.