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Any which way you look at it, we are surrounded by technology. While it can be a wonderful thing, there is always the risk of it sucking us in and leading to a very lonely existence. Our kids are not immune to the allure of the screen which is something Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane tackle head on in the new book, Growing Up Social.
About Growing Up Social
Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships—only you can.
My Thoughts on Growing Up Social
This is another one of those books which has come into my life and made me just a tad uncomfortable. After all, I spend more than my fair share of each day on the computer between work as a blogger and homeschooling the boys. I even (gasp!) spend time keeping in touch with family and friends who are scattered around the globe. Sadly, there are days when I spend more time in front of a screen than away from them.
Our kids imitate what they see. So is it any great surprise that my boys all want their fair share (or more than fair) of screen time? For the older boys, it is a mixture of school work, social media, and gaming. My younger boys love to play games (both educational and not) as well as watch different shows on our Roku or off DVD.
I suppose I should be glad that we cut cable out of our lives earlier this year. The TV can be a huge time sucker and the content of commercials even during the daytime hours can occasionally give you a case of whiplash when you do a double take.
Even though I try to minimize the negative influences of technology, I have to admit that I’ve allowed them far more screen time than I should. The TV or a tablet can serve as a wonderful ‘babysitter’ when I need to get work done. But, I am finding that it also leads to some pretty awful attitudes at times especially when I call time’s up and they have to disconnect.
I love how the authors walk you through different skills needed and how they relate to screen time. The A+ Skills are affection, appreciation, anger management, apology and attention. After presenting those skills, you are then lead through chapters that look at screen time in relationship to shyness, the brain, the love languages, security, parental authority, the single parent, and you (the reader.)
Sadly, I can see one son being more and more withdrawn from others and complaining that he just doesn’t know how to make friends. Another has been known to go into a rage when he doesn’t instantly get what he desires. While I can not blame it all on screen time, I can see that it is tied together. And, if you live in a virtual world, how can you not eventually suffer even more loneliness than if you never got sucked into that world in the first place. The instant gratification of a like on Facebook or a endorphin rush while playing a video game is fleeting.
As uncomfortable as reading this title has made me, the pages of Growing Up Social also fill me with hope. I have hope that I can make changes from this moment forward which limits screen time for the boys as well as coming up with alternatives to pass the time.
Trailer for Growing Up Social
One lucky blog reader can win their own copy of this title. Visit the Growing Up Social giveaway page by December 1,2014 to enter.
Do you and your family struggle with screen time?
What is one way that you are helping the kids to learn how to build relationships away from social media?