“Is technology bringing your family closer together, or is it driving your family farther apart?” That’s the question Dr. Gary Chapman & Arlene Pellicane introduce their book Growing Up Social
(available on Amazon
Did you know the average american child spends over 7 hours in front of a screen every day? That’s as much as many working adults spend at work each week… a huge amount of time! How many times have you handed your child a device to avoid a tantrum, unwanted noise or to fight off boredom?
“Too often children are given screens to pacify and occupy them when it’s not an emergency or special occasion. Instead of learning how to live in the real world of communicating with people and occasionally feeling bored, they are given a screen world for their entertainment pleasure. More and more studies demonstrate the adverse effects of screen time on the brain and your child’s social and emotional development.” (pg. 28)
Can I say ‘guilty?!’ I’m sure most of us have done it – little man (or lady) starts begging for our attention in the middle of an ‘important’ conversation with Grandma and our go to reaction is to hand them a tablet, phone or computer. The more I read, the more inspiration I found in this book, for example on page 98, I encountered a fact that is all too familiar in my classroom:
“When a screen-driven child faces an uncertain task, they often disengage and stop paying attention. They check out mentally when they hear something that doesn’t interest them. In the screen world, children are trained daily to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That may hold their attention fast, but it doesn’t sound much like the real world we are preparing our children to live in.”
In my classroom, and other classrooms all across this country, students consciously & unconsciously desire to have all learning incorporate technology. While it’s true that technology can be a huge tool, it can also hinder their more traditional learning experiences. There is no point in fighting against technology completely, but I also don’t think it’s appropriate to bend over backwards and forget everything that has been effective in the past.
Growing Up Social is a must read for anyone that has children, plans to have children or has ever met a child they liked! As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child well. Let’s be that village. Let’s get our heads out of the sand and realize what we’ve done to an entire generation of our children before it’s too late. Together we can harness the amazing capabilities of technology while still maintaining a healthy level of face-to-face interactions in our children’s lives.
Disclaimer: Wife.Mother.Teacher. received this book as a review copy. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be contained in this post that compensate me for my referral.