I have concluded anytime Gary Chapman writes a book about parenting, it is probably a book I should take the time to read. I have always learned something and enjoyed some of his other titles that include The 5 Love Languages of Children, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted and now I have added Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World to my list.
Growing Up Social is a book Chapman coauthored with Arelene Pellicane, who is a speaker and also an author. They address a challenging topic that affects most families today, which is the presence of technology in the family.
My children and I are daily users of technology in our home. Although I believe I have found a good balance, where we use it for school needs and to watch an occasional television show, There are days where immediately following a “good morning,” comes a “may we turn on the television?” Usually, I tell my children no. There, there have been some days where they have spent the entire day mesmerized by the television and before I know it, their bedtime arrives and there passes an entire day where their attention has been drawn elsewhere and we, as a family, have failed to truly connect.
Chapman and Pellicane, do not mince words. Growing Up Social begins with an introduction of how to take back you home from the excessive use and dependency on technology and the amount of screed time we often fall victim to.
“Screens are not the problem; the problems lies in the way we constantly use them.” ~ Growing Up Social
Readers are introduced to the five A+ skills that include Skill of Affection; Skill of Appreciation; Skill of Anger Management; Skill of Apology; and Skill of Attention. They also look at the effects of screen time regarding areas like security, parental authority and the brain.
The chapter on the effects of screen time on the brain was extremely interesting. Screen addiction was discussed. Another effect is that screen time has the ability to dumb children down as they become more dependent on their gadgets, relying on them to do things like correct their written errors.
Children also depend on their tools for communicating with others rather than doing so face-to-face.
Another interesting fact shared in the chapter was that many employees of technology giants like Yahoo!, Google, etc. limited, if not prohibit, screen time use by their children.
Chapman and Pellicane provide an excellent case as to why you should reign your child away from the screen and reconnect, while also giving the reader the tools they need to do so.