Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Growing Up Social

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World
Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane
Visit the book page HERE
Publisher: Northfield Publishing 
Publishing Date: September 1, 2014
Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World
Goodreads Summary:
In this digital age, children are spending more and more time interacting with a screen rather than a parent. Technology has the potential to add value to our families, but it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child's emotional growth. In Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, you'll learn how to take back your home from an over-dependence on screens. Discover the five A+ skills needed to give your child the relational edge in a screen-driven world: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention. Today's screens aren't just in our living rooms; they are in our pockets. Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, notfor screen time. Constant entertainment is not the goal of childhood. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships; only you can. Growing Up Social will help you:

Equip your child to be relational rich in a digital world
Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time
Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference
Read what's working for the screen savvy family down the street
Prepare your child to succeed down the road in relationships and life
Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy it from Book Depository today! 

My Thoughts:
There are more screens in our lives now than ever before. Our lives have become inundated with them. Surrounding me right now I have at least four different digital devices I can see without even trying. I have six Internet tabs open and Spotify running in the background while texting my husband. To say technology has wedged it's way into my life is an understatement. I mean, how else are you reading this?

I've been slowly aware of the technology takeover, but I felt so personally helpless. Technology is coming folks, might as well embrace it! But then I had a child. And I get to witness firsthand her addiction to the iPad and Curious George. George. All. The. Time. I started to feel uncomfortable. I started to realize just how frequently I used my own phone because I was too exhausted to play with Baby Girl. So when I saw 'Growing Up Social' to say I leaped at the chance to be on the launch team is an understatement.

'Growing Up Social' was very informative and practical. The authors used a lot of scientific results about the brain in relation to electronics that I found fascinating being a layman brain nerd. I love that they backed up their thoughts with studies and information that rings true. This was a major plus for me.

What I was mostly worried about going into this reading choice, was finding it too anti-phone. Luckily, I didn't find that completely evident. Chapman and Pellicane stress the importance of there being a time and a place for electronics to fit into our lives. As parents, we need to set rules and stay firm. This is true on all aspects of parenting isn't it? So why not here in how our kids spend their time on their phones and computers.

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane

This book has been a big launching pad in my own life. It helped renew my passion for literacy in the life of my child and all children, which easily lead me to try something new and brave. I have started setting time limits on Baby Girl's Curious George time in the mornings and am working on getting her to choose books over the iPad. This has so far resulted in a LOT of Curious George books borrowed from the library :)

But also, and perhaps most importantly, I have started to set limits for myself. The instant I feel bored I pick up my phone and search for something to read or do. Blech. Just blech. I have squashed all chance of breeding creativity. I teach my child that staring at a phone is good and acceptable. So have I completely stopped? No. But I am trying to change things. I use my phone in the mornings during our family snuggle (aka lazy)time and then I try to leave it in the kitchen or on the dining room table. Then I can hear if I get a text or call but it is not on my persons. When I do get bored now or have down time, I want to turn to something else like coloring with my daughter or having a dance party. 

I think this is going to be one of those books that impact my life, that make a dent and stay with me for awhile. Can I give it the full five stars though? Finding myself hesitant to do it makes me think I shouldn't. 'Growing Up Social' didn't have a personal feel to it. It got a bit lost behind all those fantastic stats and studies. Some of the sections felt repetitive and I found myself wondering if it even needed to be a full length book. Still, overall the book is a great resource and will get you thinking about making much needed changes. Official star rating stands at 4.5 stars then and earns a coveted spot on my Life Changer shelf. If you are a parent of children and CARE about your children, then read this book :)


  1. So glad to read about your takeaways Alyssa! Curious George from the library is very, very good!

  2. I'll have to add this one to my to-read list too! Even though my kids are still so young, I'm beginning to see this as in issue. We love Curious George too! Even for me finding the balance between technology and living can become a struggle. Thanks for sharing your review and thoughts on Book Notes!

  3. Well, thanks for stopping by! And did I mention my daughter is not yet 2?! I swore it would never happen, but I just slipped into it :/

  4. It is astonishing to think how quickly technology has taken over our lives! I am interested in how it affects us now, and this book seems like a great read to find out. (Or maybe skim through if it's very technical! :)) I know I look at my phone and check for updates way more than I should, but I do enjoy the time when I deliberately set it aside to focus on other things, so I think moderation really is key. It's great that you are getting your little one to pick up more physical books instead of the ipad sometimes! There are such good memories of going to visit the library as a kid! :)

  5. I LOVED going to the library as a kid. It was such a treat! I want that for my kiddo as well.
    I didn't think this book was too technical at all. It does focus more on children, but there were great takeaways for me as well.