Growing Up Social Review

Book Review: 

Raising relational kids in a screen-driven world

In an age where screen time is replacing face-to-face time, Gary and Arlene bring us the timely reminder that screens do not teach our kids common courtesies. Addressing 5 A's that children desperately need: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention, they reveal a startling new world where these things have been replaced by the screen. Nobody has time for eye contact or even common courtesies anymore. Why? Maybe because they never learned it.

I didn't find this book to be so anti-screens as it was anti-what it is doing to our children if left unchecked. It's easy to use a screen as a babysitter, but what is that replacing? Is it replacing the time when you could discuss with your child their day or you could teach them some basic kitchen skills while you prepare supper together?

I was reading this book one afternoon when the evening stretched out long before me and I was thinking about how I could manage to read and keep my kids occupied. I'm not sure which chapter I was reading, but I was convicted that I should put my book down and play with my children, to give them attention, a critical need. I was also convicted in the book to spend less time on screens myself, to not have to get that text message immediately or randomly check my phone just in case....

I highly recommend this book. It's written in a personable style that makes it a quick read and yet it drives home the point. I want my children to learn basic etiquette, I want them to be able to make eye contact and say thank you, I want them to know how to hold a basic conversation with someone else. It's a book I am purposing to read, at least every couple years, if not every year as a reminder to myself of what I need to do and as a guideline to see how I am doing. Screens are only going to be there for the long haul, even though they constantly change, my children are only this age once and I want them to experience life with their eyes lifted up and observing and now bowed down to the latest video game or favorite show.

I received this book from Moody Publishers and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be more intentional with screen time.