Book Review | Growing up Social: Raising Relationship Kids in a Screen-Driven World

My choices with technology and social media will certainly impact me. That’s something I really have to keep a close eye on. More than that, I’m charting a course for my own children and my students as I model stewardship in front of them. Honestly, I’m grateful that all those eyes are watching. Built in accountability!

Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane is a great read for parents and educators. I’ve enjoyed Chapman’s work on love languages throughout the years and a lot of that is woven throughout this book as well. There are so many things to consider in our culture regarding social media and technology engagement and the implications truly have eternal ramifications. I’m grateful for the way this book continued the conversation in so many key areas.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Screen time that is not purposeful tends to be a waste of time and negative influence. Page: 9
  • Both lessons are important: to teach children to make decisions and to teach them to live within boundaries. Page: 20
  • Children must learn to process emotions, and none of that is learned in front of a screen but by interacting with parents, siblings, and other people in real time, face to face. Page: 23
  • A world dominated by screens is a false, controlled world that revolves around pleasing your child. Page: 23
  • Technology trains children to find what they need at the speed of light. The art of patience is lost. Page: 29
  • You can make an impact on your child forever by teaching her how to: Show affection
    Appreciate others
    Deal with anger
    Learn to apologize
    Pay attention Page: 35
  • Research shows that grateful people are more resilient and less depressed. Page: 62
  • Screen time can condition your child to expect three things that don’t always happen in real life—that what’s before him will be interesting, instant, and immediately rewarding. Page: 97
  • Multitasking reduces the quality of your work. Page: 104
  • When children overuse technology, the constant stimulation of the brain causes the stress hormone cortisol to rise. Too much cortisol can inhibit a child from feeling calm and comforted. Dr. Archibald Hart says, “A part of cortisol’s function is to block the tranquility receptors so as to make you more anxious and prepare you to deal with an emergency. Only, it isn’t a real emergency but instead a game-induced emergency. This loss of tranquility can lead to more serious anxiety disorders.”16 Page: 132
  • Without parental authority, Google becomes the answer to life’s questions. Page: 170
  • Evaluate your child’s screen time with these easy ABCs: Attitude: What is my child’s attitude like after the screen time? Behavior: How does the content encourage my child to behave? Character: What character traits are being modeled and picked up? Page: 171
  • Consistency prevents your child from growing resentful because of ever-changing rules. Page: 176
  • Kids don’t need constant attention from their parents, but they do need the assurance that they rank above the noise of the screen world. Page: 194
  • The superhighway of screen entertainment may be more popular and convenient, but screen time isn’t producing the character and quality relationships most parents desire for their children. Page: 210

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