Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning SnapChat – BOOK REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

Over the holiday break, my husband and I continuously threatened to shut off our kids’ cell phone data plans, the wifi, the cable box- anything that might get our relaxing students to do something other than stare at a screen in their downtime.

How badly we want 2018 to be the Year of Successfully Parenting Our Screenagers.

Our family has tech boundaries. We have rules for the devices. We even made a cell phone contract when we allowed our kids to purchase their first phones three years ago. How come it’s so hard for our teenagers to follow the guidelines we’ve set and even more difficult for us as parents to uphold them?

Parenting children on screens can be absolutely maddening. 

Thank goodness for the release of the new book Be The Parent, Please Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning SnapChat- Strategies for Solving Real Parenting Problems because I need all of the advice I can get when it comes to this subject!


When I was asked if I wanted to receive a copy of Be the Parent, Please to review- they had me at the title alone. Ban Snapchat. Where do I sign up? Be the Parent. Yes, please. I’m all over that. I know it’s my ‘job’ to lead my children well, but somehow I still feel that I’m failing them when it comes to tackling technology.

Author Naomi Schaefer Riley is an acclaimed author and mother of three. She brings her experience, research, and no-nonsense candor to the book to help families retake control over technology’s influence.

I am so grateful for the wisdom I gain from books like Riley’s and other books I’ve read on parenting kids on screens.


Riley challenges us to examine how we really want our children to interact with the world and gives us realistic tips on how to accomplish those goals. Be the Parent, Please motivates us with oh so many reasons to take back control of the screens in 2018.

The book is full of real-life relatable situations and lots of research to get us thinking about being the parent we really want to be. I love that the author talks about the benefits of technology free sleepaway summer camp. Being in nature without devices for several weeks is just one of the many reasons to consider sending your screenagers to camp.

It’s up to us to lead our children well this year and this book is a perfect start to helping us figure out how exactly we want to do that.

Leave a comment below on why you need to read this book!

One lucky winner will be selected at random to receive a hard copy of Be the Parent, Please by mail. US residents only, please!

Winner will be announced on January 23!


37 replies
  1. Stacey fabio
    Stacey fabio says:

    Once again last night I went to bed thinking I need to talk to the girls and set some ground rules on phones and enforce them! Ugh!

  2. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Sounds like a great book. We’re in a society where dodgeball is removed from PE, red pens for grading papers are rejected, as this all may ruin a kid’s mental psyche, so we give them participation trophies and let them play video games for hours on end and expect no harm no foul. Can’t wait to read.

  3. AmyRyb
    AmyRyb says:

    I can tell we’re at a pivotal point in our house. Older kid is becoming a tween and we’ll have to start tackling some of the harder topics with him soon, and the little one seems to have developed quite a natural affinity for screens so we’re trying to balance allowing him to do what he enjoys along with ensuring he remembers he has real toys, too! Our problem is made worse by the fact that the boys don’t get along and some of the only moments of peace in our house take place when they each have a screen in front of them. We’re tired and sometimes the rules bend a bit! I could probably also use some ammunition to help get my husband on the same page, as I don’t think he’s quite as conscious of it as me. Hard to even know where to begin!

  4. Carla M
    Carla M says:

    I’d love to read this book. My kids can’t put down their phones and I would love for them to be able to see the benefit of putting down the phone!

  5. Sara
    Sara says:

    Is it possible??? I’d like to know how, please. Technology seems to be winning. They need it for homework, studying/communicating with their friends on group projects….. it’s getting out of control.

  6. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    My 13yr old daughter is coming to the point in her life where boys are going to be a big factor (hooray for me that she hasn’t had any major boy crushes yet!) and my 12yr old son would sit in front of his video games 24/7 if allowed. His idea of “interacting” with the family is asking them to play a video game with him. I know it’s a different world now, nothing like the days when I was a tween spending the entire day outside playing), and we don’t live in a neighborhood conducive to a lot of outside activity, but we have a dog, a trampoline, 2 cats and plenty of toys and art supplies at this house! I want HIM to WANT to choose those things over his electronics! Help, help – how do I get us there??

  7. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    I have 4 boys, ages 14-4. I need to get a handle on this early. Especially since my 14 & 12 year olds both have smart phones. Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I need to read this book! As a parent who raised two older kids before all of this tech was an issue, my newly turned 13 year old and I are navigating new waters together!

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Jennifer- You are the Winner of the copy of Be the Parent! Be sure to check your email for details. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting! Parent on!

  9. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    My 9th and 10th grader have had phones for about 2-3 years. I didn’t set ground rules because I didn’t understand at the time what all was out there. Now it’s really hard to curtail them. I need advice!!!!

  10. Diane
    Diane says:

    Wow, I so want to read this book! I struggle daily to get her to choose people over screens and it’s hard not to give in to avoid the insanity of yet another discussion. Even if I don’t win this I’m getting a copy of this!

  11. kkurtz
    kkurtz says:

    So pertinent to this present age … I need the book … for myself, not just as a parent! I can be as drawn in to this age of ‘instant’ everything and need continually need to learn balance and reason. Love reading wisdom on this subject.

  12. Sondra Kraak
    Sondra Kraak says:

    My daughter is in fifth grade and has been asking when she can get a cell phone. Not for a long time, I said. I’m gathering information and working on my habits so when the time comes, I hope it’s a smooth transition!

  13. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I would love to read this book! My 6-year-old does not have a phone (looking to hold out through middle school, if possible!), so I would love to have strategies in hand to pre-empt her becoming a screen zombie!

  14. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    I need my husband & myself to do better with our screentime! I was to live by example. I think I myself could learn valuable lessons from this book.

  15. Claire Wrigley
    Claire Wrigley says:

    This book sounds like a must read. I am really worried about how my son’s behaviour is affected by his gaming time. Hope it has some practical solutions

  16. lisa
    lisa says:

    I have a blended family to include two stepsons who spend every waking hour, minus eating, playing video games and watching streaming videos on phones. I am working to keep my 7 yr old daughter out of this black hole… but as parents we disagree on the harm of screen time. This means I’m always the bad guy or always the default entertainer in lieu of a screen, and about out of patience and will. How to peacefully manage a household where dad watches TV all the time, teenage stepsons have unlimited video and phone time, and mom (me) would drastically limit screen time for herself and our first grader if possible?

  17. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    We have lost sight of what is really important. The way our parents and grandparents raised children makes so much sense! I need to revisit this and take some notes. I feel like I’ve lost complete control over my kids. Sounds like this book would help get me and many others back on track.

  18. Laura Burke
    Laura Burke says:

    I would absolutely love to win a free copy of this book! I am the mom of 4 children (2 teenagers) and a coach to many preteen/teenage girls. I am engaged in working to educate parents on developing their child’s self-esteem/character on and off the field as well. Technology is something I see us all struggling with! Rules may be in place but so many kids have the fear of missing out (FOMO) and quite frankly, the social rules have changed since we were kids. What used to be a telephone with a very long cord and an hour gab session with our friend has turned into group texts and Houseparty app gatherings. As parents we want our children to be engaged and be social but often our limits leave them missing out. I will take this book, read it, and apply it. For those of us who may not be able to afford an away summer camp, you can create moments like these that are tech free. I’m excited to read this book! Thanks for introducing me to it.

  19. Tina
    Tina says:

    I love the title you chose!!! So much of my challenges in parenting come from being self-aware enough at the right time to recognize when a struggle with my kid(s) stems from them or me. I even have come to ask my teens and encourage them to ask me – ‘is this mine or yours?’

  20. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    My word for 2018 is INTENTIAL.
    I want to be more intentional with how my family spends our evenings and weekends. I’m no longer going to let electronics steal time from my family. I’d love to have this book to assist me as I take back my children.

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      I LOVE your word intentional! Yes, that is the only way we can reclaim time with our family without screens. Way to go and happy new year!

  21. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Today, the majority of teenagers would rather stare at a screen than actually verbally communicate . My teenager is no exception and I agree technology is here to stay and can be very useful,but a proper balance needs to be set. I am looking forward to reading this book to give me advice and motivation to strike the proper balance in our household.

  22. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    I’ve read Growing up Social that you posted along with those other 3 books and it’s so helpful, insightful, and just excellent. I appreciate the links to the other ones. I have much to learn and this book looks very helpful. Thank you!

  23. sonya bennett
    sonya bennett says:

    My husband and I are raising our now 11 year old grandson. For various reasons we have allowed him to have a smart phone. We would love some guidance on monitoring his use and learning the pitfalls of this type of technology. This book may just be the answer.

  24. Heather
    Heather says:

    We have 3 boys and our oldest got his first smartphone recently. I’d really like to read this book and get some ideas on how to set boundaries around the technology they’ll be using.

  25. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    As a grandparent it would be helpful to read a book such as this one to assist my kids in following through with reasonable limits for tech devices.

  26. Jodi
    Jodi says:

    I would LOVE to read this book! Is it too late to enter? Mama of three kids always looking for ways to parent the best way that I can.

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Hi Jodi! Yes, it was already shipped off to the winner. Thanks for your interest! I have book giveaways every month, so be sure to join my email list, if you haven’t already, so you can get my monthly newsletter to see if future titles interest you! http://eepurl.com/bRU0nv

  27. Toni
    Toni says:

    I wish I had this before before teenage years. Every day has been a battle. Except this past week since both girls lost their phone due to a consequence????????????????????????????????????

  28. Danielle Wurth
    Danielle Wurth says:

    Amen to ALL the above! We know how our brain patterns literally change forever with the use of excessive tech. I can go down the “rabbithole” on Instagram myself which is why I bought an old fashioned alarm clock vs. my phone to set a new example this year. As a Profesional Organizer with a Team of 10 ladies we are a huge resource for so many families valleywide. Would LOVE to read and share and engage with new tech know-how for my family and our client families this year!


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