Parents are scrambling for advice on how to handle digital devices in their homes.
We are losing our kids to technology, but what can we as Mom and Dad do about it?
We must acquire wisdom from knowledgeable sources and implement boundaries and rules based on what we learn. When we know better, we do better.
The following four books were given to me to review and are each beneficial in the i-parenting journey. With five kids on screens, I’m open to any positive advice I can get right now on how to best handle technology in our family.
1. Disconnected- How to Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids is a call to action because we (adults and children) do not have control over electronic devices and screens; they instead have control over us.
The author Thomas Kersting is a rock star parent because he has no intention of getting his 14 year old son and subsequent daughter cell phones. I’m sure what he witnesses as a public school counselor by day and private practice therapist at night helps him in that decision. Kersting consistently sees firsthand the problems that kids are facing due to technology overuse.
I love that this book is a quick, informative read with less than 100 pages and is broken into three parts- the impact of electronic devices on kids’ brains; technology’s effect on social, emotional and family growth and what parents can do- tips, techniques and solutions.
Kersting lists warning signs and how to tell when your child is spending too much time using any form of electronic media, including television, video games, handheld devices and computers/tablets. He states ways to help your children (and yourself) cut down on electronic media consumption and he also states when is the right age to get your child a smartphone. I wish I would’ve read this one line alone before handing over phones to my kids.
2. Unplug- Raising Kids in a Technology Addicted World is another self published short read by psychologists Dr. Lisa Strohman and Dr. Melissa Westendorf.
The book dives into the difference between technology addiction and overuse as well as states guidelines that can be established around using technology. The authors’ candid approach helps parents sort through the pros and cons of technology use and helps parents better understand the effects it can have on children.
Unplug helps you determine how to better manage raising children with technology and to provide insight and practical tools for the challenges and choices our children are facing. I really enjoyed the call to action To Do lists at the end of every chapter and the idea of designing a Technology Use Log.
3. A Parent’s Guide to iPhone and iPad is a must have read for any parent of kids who own an i-device. My kids have had iPhones for nearly two years and I had no idea many of the tips and tricks that I learned in this book. I wish At&t would’ve given me this book when we purchased the kids phones.
This book reminds me of a smaller, updated version of something from the “for Dummies” series. There are easy to follow instructions and visual photos to help guide you through the process.
The Andrew duo crafted this book for the parent, not the tech wizard. Think of it like a cookbook for your device with detailed step-by-step recipes on everything you can do and control on the iPhone and iPad. The tutorials are detailed and simple to follow. Your child’s future will be increasingly connected online, and you owe it to them to understand the tools they will use and how to protect them.
4. I was part of the launch team back in 2014 for the book Growing Up Social- Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. My kids didn’t even own cell phones at that time so it was a great book to read to help us proactively create boundaries and limits on screen time before they actually owned the devices. You can read my original review here.
Parents, don’t be afraid to be in the know and set boundaries according to your family values and beliefs. Our kids are depending on us to lead them well.
FYI- I will receive a few pennies if you purchase any of the books with the Amazon links provided in this post.