Growing Up Social – Raising Kids In A Screen-Driven World
So, we have another good one from Gary Chapman. If you haven’t already, you should check out my review of his other books, Anger, and The 5 Love Languages. Growing Up Social is a little different from the other two in a sense that it talks about how to raise children with modern technology. Whereas the other two are written about how to work on yourself. Although I don’t have kids myself, I feel like anyone that reads this book would reap great benefits from it. The guidelines that Chapman suggests to use with children would work just as well on adults.
Too Much Too Soon
The very first thing Chapman writes about is how children under the age of 2 years old should not be in front of any kind of screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the negatives far outweigh the positives for children at this age when it comes to watching television or using handheld screens. Becuase they are so young, they process information very differently than the rest of us and that’s not always a good thing.
A lot of parents give their children screen time to keep them occupied while the parents get other tasks done. What most of them don’t realize is how many other ways there are to keep their children entertained. Chapman highlights some great activities for parents to use:
- Scribbling. Give them crayons and markers and some construction paper and let them go to town. It’ll get their creative juices flowing.
- Cardboard box. Kids love those things. Get a big one and let them build a fort out of it.
- Toys. Sure it’s obvious, but it also works.
Physical Presence Matters
This one is huge, and arguably the most important. Kids are impressionable and want to do what their parents are doing. If you are spending all your free time watching TV and playing games on your phone, your kids are going to want to do the same things. It’s important to actually be present when you’re with your kids. Play games with them, talk to them, read with (or to) them. Sitting on the couch together watching TV doesn’t always count.
Overall, it was kind of a tough read for me because, again, I don’t have kids so a lot of the concepts did not apply to me. I did like some of them though because they could be applied to adults as well. Especially the physical presence part. Either way, if you have kids I think this is an important one for you. If you don’t have kids I think you can find a different book that is more relatable and still get the same benefits from.