Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Growing Up Social" Resource Recommendation - Tech Tuesday

This Spring, on Tech Tuesdays, I have been looking at the question "How do I prepare my child for a future filled with technology?" I have been looking at how to apply God's Word as a parent making decisions about technology. In God's Word we find the answers to what life is about. As I apply God's Word to technology, I have found it helpful to consider some practical aspects. The book "Growing Up Social" has been a good companion in this endeavor. 

"Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids In A Screen Driven World" is by Gary D Chapman (who also wrote "The 5 Love Languages") and Arlene Pellicane.  This book helps parents teach their children how to have a healthy use of screens and how to have good social skills in a digital age. The authors are Christians and occasionally mentions God's Word. On this blog I normally recommend resources that relate more directly to Biblical instruction. Yet I recommend this resource because of the practical examples and relevant content.

What I like about "Growing Up Social":

  • Encouraging Parents To Be Parents: "You are the parent in your family. Your child is not in control, not even of the electronic devices in your home. If your children are not interacting with the family in a way you consider healthy, it's your responsibility to a make a change." p 35
  • Ideas For All Ages: The book has ideas for children of all ages, from babies to teens. 
  • Teaching Boundaries and Decision Making:  “Rules about screen use are certainly helpful and necessary, but there is something more valuable for your child’s security. It involves active participation as a parent in screen-time education and use” p152
  • A Variety of Topics: A wide scope of areas are covered.  Many of them I had never considered before. Areas covered include: affection, thankfulness, anger management, apology, attention, brain development, shyness, love languages, security, parental authority, and the single parent. For example, from the topic of appreciation: "The power of gratitude can change your child's attitude and actions for the better, both in the real world and the digital world. Training your child to think, speak, and text gratefully begins right at home, with words and actions you model." p64
  • Parents Are An Example: Throughout the book there are examples of how children are affected by how their parents use technology. "What we model digitally is more important than what we say about screen time." page 195 
  • "We Can Do This" Attitude: Raising children in a screen driven world is possible, even if your family may need to make big changes. "You can teach your children to go against the tide. When others tear down, they can build up. When others concentrate on accumulating more possessions, they can outdo others with acts of generosity. When others are finding their best friends online, they can find them off-line. When others complain about their lives, they can be grateful." p 64
  • Parents Are Important: "Your children need to know you are always there for them. There is no computer program in the world comparable to an involved and loving parent providing guidance." p178
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©Brigette Hill, 2015

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