May 11, 2015

Growing Up Social


This cover stirs up mixed emotions. Firstly it seems so cute, but it also makes me a little sad.

My children are all adults now 19, 23, and almost 25, and so we didn't have to deal with most of the handheld devices parents have to today.

The cell phone was the only thing we struggled with and we kept our ground and made them wait till they were in the 12th grade before they got their own. I can't imagine how distracting it would have been to have all these devices when they were young children. We fought enough about how much texting was going on when they were 17! : )

This book will be a great help to many parents on how to navigate the use of electronic devices in the home, but more importantly it gives great advice on the family.

Here is the table of contents:
Introduction: Taking Back Your Home

1. Screen Time: Too Much, Too Soon?

2. The A+ Method for Relational Kids 

3. The A+ Skill of Affection 

4. The A+ Skill of Appreciation,  

5. The A+ Skill of Anger Management 

6. The A+ Skill of Apology 

7. The A+ Skill of Attention 

8. Screen Time and Shyness 

9. Screen Time and the Brain 

10. Screen Time and the Love Languages 

11. Screen Time and Security 

12. Screen Time and Parental Authority 

13. Screen Time and the Single Parent
 

14. Screen Time and You 

Conclusion: A Tale of Two Homes

I loved how the authors connected everyday things we want for our children, such as teaching them to apologize, showing affection and controlling their anger, with the use of social media and electronic devices.

Several things stood out to me in this book.


Firstly that we as parents only owe our children one thing and that is our unconditional love. In the chapter on appreciation its says here:

"Children who make their parents feel guilty or like they are bad parents because they don't give them certain things must be challenged early on. Most of us recognize that the younger generation has a strong entitlement mentality. 'I deserve that' and 'You owe that to me' are attitudes kids can easily pick up. But the only thing a child is really entitled to is his parent's love."

I can't tell you how many times I heard my kids through the years say, 'so and so gets this or so and so's parents pays for that!' We weren't perfect parents, but we rarely gave into this. And I think it payed off. They are generous and loving adults today.


Secondly, I loved what they had to say about reading. : )

"Reading is a foundational and multisensory experience for every child. He touches the page while his mind processes what he is reading. At times he must force himself to stay focused on the written words. During reading time, things aren't changing every five seconds. He's following a story line and engaging in a thought process. While reading, children are learning to stay with one topic and absorb something deeply. Print reading especially strengthens attention-span muscles."

How much do I love this! I struggled with reading and comprehension as a child. I don't think I could actually read until the 4th grade! I can't imagine if I had had so many distractions with electronic devices, I may never have grown to love the written word.

My small bit of advice to parents is to read to your children. Let them touch the pages, study the pictures, learn the words and comprehend the story. Talk to them in between pages and discuss what you are reading. They will love and benefit from the time you put in.

Here are 5 ways from the book, to foster a love of reading in your child:

1. Read aloud to your child
2. Visit the library regularly
3. Reading time for screen time
4. Find books that interest your child
5. Let then catch you reading


Thirdly, was what they had to say about multitasking. I loved this because I can not multitask for the life of me. If you try to have a conversation with me while I'm cooking I will probably burn dinner!

They say here:

"Multitasking used to be a badge of success, a shiny word to put on your resume to show your ability to manage many tasks at once. But recently, many warnings about the pitfalls of a multitasking culture are on the rise."

They then give 4 ways multitasking can be harmful:

1. Multitasking reduces the quality of your work
2. Multitasking changes the way you learn
3. Multitasking creates skimmers
4. Multitasking wastes time

They elaborate on these points and I found them very informative.


Fourthly, is the benefits of the outdoors.

They say here:

"Being outdoors is especially rejuvenating for the minds of children and adults. A series of psychological studies revealed that after spending time close to nature in a rural setting, people exhibited greater attentiveness, stronger memory, and generally improved cognition. Their brains were calmer and sharper."


Fifthly, on a more serious note are the affects of video game play.

This is one of my greatest regrets as a mom. To allow video games in our home. They only produced wasted time and energy.

In the chapter 'screen time and the brain' it says:

"It's estimated that 95 to 97 percent of American youth are playing video games of one type of another. The important questions to ask are 'how long does your child play?' and 'what type of games is he playing?' Many psychologists are concerned that extensive computer game playing in children may lead to long-term changes in the brain's circuitry that resemble the effects of substance-dependence. Kids addicted to gaming can't resist the urge to play, even if it interrupts basic hygiene, eating, sleeping, homework, and relating to family or friends."

I would even go further and not even ask those questions of how long and what type, but just advise to keep video games away from your children all together. An innocent video game of hockey or basketball will eventually bore them and they will move on to more inappropriate games online. You just don't know what child will become addicted.


Lastly, was the most moving for me. It was the love languages of children.

It says here:

"Your child's need for love is the foundation of meaningful conversation. If your child does not feel loved by you, not only will your child experience greater anger but all your efforts to teach your child are likely to be rejected...

...Children who feel the security of parental love are much more likely to make wise choices; and when they do make poor choices, they are far more likely to learn form their mistakes and correct future behavior. Nothing is more fundamental in teaching a child to handle anger than giving the child unconditional love."

There are 5 love languages:

1. Physical Touch
2. Word of Affirmation
3. Quality Time
4. Gifts
5. Acts of Service

Chapter 10 discusses these 5 love languages and explains each one. It was an eye opener for me. I talked to my older daughter about it and she told me about an online test she took at university where you can determine your or your child's love language.

Here is the link to that test: Love Language Test

When you have the tools of what makes your child feel loved, I think it will make a huge difference in your life and the life of your child.


I'll leave you with this encouraging quote:

"Your goal as a parent isn't to make your child feel good; your goal is to make him be a good person."


"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."
                                     Proverbs 22:6


Buy it HERE on Amazon


36 comments:

  1. What a great review of this much-needed book! Sounds like it contains much very valuable information for parents and grandparents. Thank you!

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    1. It was very informative for parents and for us as individuals. (sometimes I need to cut back on the use of devices and social media too) : )

      Thanks for stopping by Beth!

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  2. I completely agree with you about the cover. It's both adorable and disturbing.

    Love the advice about reading. I think it is important for our kids to have a balanced approach to media. Thanks for sharing your review.

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    1. So much good advice in the book about how to use media in a balanced and godly way. I loved that they focused on things like being thoughtful of others, learning to apologize and controlling anger. All things we need to do online as well as in real life.

      Thanks for stopping by Heather!

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  3. This is an outstanding review. Very exciting educative and beautiful review, the the book must blow minds then.
    God Bless

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    1. It's a great book! Thanks for stopping by Ifeoma! : )

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  4. Great review! I'll have to check this book out. My 17 month-old already knows how to scroll on a phone, and we're already planning out future discussions on cell phone use. Visiting you over from #RaRaLinkUp.

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    1. It will be a great help to you. The first chapter shares some great advice for parents of little ones under 2 or 3 years of age.

      Glad you stopped by Samantha! : )

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  5. Sounds like a very interesting book! My son is 11 and we are currently discussing with him all these devices. I agree with you, and the book, there are other much more imporant skills that he needs to learn. Not just how to use technology. That is why we try to limit the accessibility and use for him. And concentrate on those other skills, although they are harder to teach and take more time.

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    1. They really focused on teaching our kids to deal with real people before they start using social media. And I really agree with that. Sounds like you are doing a great job!

      Thanks for stopping by Joanna. : )

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  6. What a great and timely book. I will add this to my TBR list and recommend it to our local library. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays. I pinned your review to our board.

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    1. Thanks for pinning my post! Hope your library gets it in, thats where I picked my copy up from. : )

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  7. I always love your review of books and this one being so relevant really made me stop and think. My sons are also grown so I feel that most of this was not an issue because it was not available. However, this is the kind of book to share when grandchildren come along. Visiting you from #TellHisStory today.

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    1. It's a great book for grandparents as well, and I found it even great for me and my use of media.

      Glad you stopped by Mary. : )

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    2. Thank you for sharing this at The Weekend Brew!

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  8. It has saddened me over the past few years to be in a restaurant or other social places, and see children sitting at the table ignored, while both parents are intent on their phones. This book sounds like a needed read for all those who have those smartphones today! I do not have a smart phone, just a simple phone that does basic needs, and I enjoy keeping life simple :)

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    1. I know what you mean. It's sad when parents bring devices to family outings. We never had them growing up and we survived!

      Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  9. Great review! I too appreciated what they said about multitasking. As a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, I'll tell you, our brains cannot multitask. Our brains can only ever focus on one thing at a time, so when we think we are multitasking, we are actually interrupting our brain's focus many times over. So no need to feel bad that you've never been able to multitask!! ;-)

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    1. Thanks! That is good to hear. I do so much better when I focus on one thing at a time.

      Glad you stopped by! : )

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  10. This looks like such a rich and full book, not just what we typically categorize as social media, but on so many more levels. I appreciate what you share. It's good info for all of us, regardless of the age of our kids or of ourselves! :)

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    1. It was definitely a good read for parents and individuals alike. I loved that it wasn't just a 'don't do this' kind of book but gave real solutions. Glad you stopped by again Lisa. : )

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  11. I probably should read this book. My kids are 5 and 8 ... and even thinking about the technology they'll think they need stresses me out. Ironically, I love technology, but I love reading and my people too. :) Thanks for sharing this review and linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

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    1. I think you will benefit from this book. It was very informative and I really enjoyed it. Great advice for all ages. : )

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  12. Oh what a great review. I teach preschool. I wish my parents could have a chance to read this one! Thanks for sharing and linking I came by from My Sweet Saturday. I linked too! Nice to meet you. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Nice to meet you too Grantham. Enjoy your weekend as well. : )

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Great review and I love your comments. My kids are pretty much grown now too, but the lure of devices is always there. I'd stress too the importance of reading with/to children- for as long as they'll stand being read to- which is a surprisingly long time.

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    1. My kids used to beg us to read to them, which I think was a good thing. : ) I loved doing it. It was a bonding time and now they enjoy reading as well.

      Thanks for stopping by Susan. : )

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  14. As a former classroom teacher and reading specialist, I know how important it is to read to your child, and to let them see you reading. Going to the library, participating in reading events, and having books and other reading materials at home is also a key to developing a lifelong love of reading. I read now even more than when I was younger. I live off the grid with no TV, so my main entertainment comes from books. If I wasn't an avid reader (and writer) I don't know if it would be as pleasurable a place to live. - Margy

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    1. I read more now as an adult as well. I've probably read more books in the last 6 or 7 years than I did the rest of my life put together! Reading is definitely entertaining, but also very informative for me. I've learnt so much from so many great writers that have enriched my life and taught me things I never thought about before.

      Glad to hear you love reading too! Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  15. Thank you for taking the time to share this review with us at Good Morning Mondays. There are so many good pointers here. Blessings

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Terri. : )

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  16. Oh Cathy, how I've missed stopping over and getting your take. I'm adding this to my must reads today! Thank you so much for the review. And I'm super excited to see you back at Cozy Reading Spot

    Marissa
    http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad your link-up is back Marissa! I look forward to coming by again. : )

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  17. I've heard such great things about this book! Thanks so much for sharing at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Tina! : )

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  18. I say I hope this book existed earlier. Like during my childhood or pre-teen years. :)

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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