Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Growing Up Social, raising relational kids in a screen-driven world

                                                             Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World

I have often felt overwhelmed as a parent when it comes to making decisions regarding my daughter's screen time. When I have projects to complete, am working hard to get dinner on the table, or am running late for something, my life saver is often Curious George. It's hard for me to admit that because before I ever became a mother, I swore up and down that my children were not going to be little TV addicts. I think many parents today feel a sense of defeat when it comes to screen time for their kids. Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane have addressed that sense of helplessness in parents in their book Growing Up Social: raising relational kids in a screen-driven world. I am so excited to have been given a chance to read and review this book as it offered so much relevant information on how screen time really effects our kids, their brains, their friendships, their families and so much more!

Even though my 2 year old watches less than an hour of TV a day on average, it still somehow seems to control our home. It's the first thing she asks for when she wakes up, and what she asks for often throughout the day. I've noticed how addicting screen time can be even for my toddler. The more she watches, the more she wants to watch and the less time she spends coloring, reading and playing with her toys. As Chapman and Pellicane in Growing Up Social say, "Unfortunately, the more a child is involved in screen time, the less time there is for interaction with parents, siblings, and friends." This book really opened my eyes to the hold that TV, Ipads, Iphones and other screened items can have in a family. Not only did it open my eyes to some of the things I was allowing for my daughter that could have negative effects but it also offered reasonable solutions for breaking my child (and myself) from addictive habits!

I began reading Growing Up Social while I was on Thanksgiving break and visiting family. It was amazing to me to observe firsthand the hold that social media has on kids! These three busy toddlers were running around playing chase, hide and go seek, and all sorts of fun interactive games. But the minute the Ipad turned on, they sat as still as statues and were glued to the screen! Now, in this case, they only watched a show for less than an hour and spent most of the week playing and interacting with each other which is great! But unfortunately for a majority of children these days that is not the case!

What I loved about this book was that it didn't come across as judgmental. There is nothing wrong with kids watching TV, playing on Ipads or even on phones. My daughter has learned her entire alphabet from a game on my Iphone, no joke! But there is definitely a balance and the consequences of not finding that balance are detrimental to our children. 

Too often children are given screens to pacify and occupy them when it’s not an
emergency or special occasion. Instead of learning how to live in the real world of
communicating with people and occasionally feeling bored, they are given a screen world for
their entertainment pleasure. More and more studies demonstrate the adverse effects of screen
time on the brain and your child’s social and emotional development. (pg. 28)

Overall I think Growing Up Social is a very timely and necessary book for today. After finishing the book, I did not feel guilty or discouraged for the way I have handled screen time in our home, but I definitely was inspired to do things a little differently with my daughter and excited to see the positive impact that has on her!

I am excited to be offering all my readers a chance to win their own copy of Growing Up Social, raising relational kids in a screen-driven world. Enter below and share!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


  1. I don't feel like social media has control in our home (yet), but it's on it's way if my husband and I aren't intentional! Our toddler is a magnet to smart phones... and I was one of those parents that said my kids weren't going to watch any TV, too! He doesn't watch TV/videos regularly, but I would guess it ends up to be about 30 minutes a day (counting smart phone button-pushing).

    What a battle... and it starts so young! I really want to read that book!
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

    1. Yes, it is insane how quickly kids can latch on to screens. SO excited that you are the winner! I know you will love this book and find it super helpful!

  2. It is in control of me but not yet my son. And now I want to read this to know how I can get out of it. And not make my son be addicted to gadgets. #ww

    Dropping by from http://pixiedusk.livejournal.com/323666.html

    1. I'm with you on that! I feel like I'm addicted to screens as well so it's hard for me to teach my daughter not to be!

  3. Looks like a great tool for helping modern parents! #MommyMoments

  4. A constant struggle Sounds like a good book! What is this app that you speak of? The whole alphabet? That's impressive! We finally decided a happy medium was to take away all video games and ipads during the week, and they get them on the weekends, but man, I cannot give up the movies! My three-year-old is sooooo busy, sometimes I just need that little bit of time where he watches his show. You know?

    1. The app is called Starfall ABC's. It has songs and other fun activities that teach the letters in the alphabet. It does a great job of teaching kids the sounds and how to identify each letter. I feel like I NEED something to keep my 2 year old busy too, for my own sanity's sake sometimes :) It is hard to find the balance for sure! Praying for wisdom for you as you navigate this area of life as well :)

  5. Way to go Faith! Thanks so much for reading Growing Up Social and posting about your experience with it!

  6. I did not feel guilty or discouraged for the way I have handled screen time in our home.


Your comments bring a smile to my face! Thanks for visiting my blog :)


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