Make A Conscious Effort To: Be the Parent, Please by Naomi Schaefer Riley Out January 8th


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Be the Parent, Please (January 8, 2018; Templeton Press) by Naomi Schaefer Riley. 


“Be the Parent, Please is one of the most thought-provoking and jarring books I’ve read in a long time. When I finished the book, I literally thought to myself, ‘I wish I’d read this ten years ago!’ Engagingly written and filled with fascinat-ing studies, this important book should be a conversation changer.” —Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package 

Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems 

By Naomi Schaefer Riley

Published by Templeton Press
Hardcover: 192 pages
January 8, 2018; $24.95US; 9781599474823

Description:

Toddlers on tablets. Pre-teens on Tumblr. Thanks to a variety of factors—from tech companies hungry for new audiences, to school administrations bent on making education digital, to a culture that promotes everyone as the star of their own reality shows—technology is irrevocably a part of childhood, and parents are struggling to keep up. What should be allowed? What should be denied? And, given the ubiquity of technology and its inherent usefulness, what do sensible boundaries even look like?

A noted columnist and mother of three, Naomi Schaefer Riley fully understands the seductive nature of screens. For example, an after­noon of finger painting equals enormous cleanup of both house and hands. But an afternoon of iPad games? Just a swipe and a charger. Or what about car rides around town? Always having toys and books on hand isn’t a given, but your game-loaded smart phone is.
Riley draws us into her story and then walks us through the research on technology’s encroachment into each stage of childhood. She then offers "tough mommy tips": realistic, practical, applicable advice for parents who recognize that unlimited technology access is a problem, but who don’t know where to start in taking back control. These tips cover everything from placating an antsy toddler at your local favorite restaurant to best practices for keeping your teens safe from unsavory sites.
Any parent knows the effects of screens on their distracted, cranky, sedentary, and incessantly anxious-about-what-might-be-going-on-without-them kids. Naomi Schaefer Riley brings her experience, research, and no-nonsense candor to help parents prevent the children from falling under the destructive spell of technology.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Naomi Schaefer Riley
 is a weekly columnist for the New York Post and a former Wall Street Journal editor and writer whose work focuses on higher education, religion, philanthropy and culture. She is the author of six books, her most recent titled, The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians, (Encounter, 2016). Her book, Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America (Oxford, 2013), was named an editor’s pick by the New York Times Book Review. For more information, please visit http://www.naomiriley.com/

The 411:
I think as parents is is so important to make that conscious effort to keep kids unplugged. My kids are 12 and 14. They have laptops but are monitored and limited. I use Microsoft 10 to limit them. The computer gets blocked when their time is up based on times I have set. They have a little more time on the weekends than during the week and a list gets sent to me weekly to let me see what sites they have visited. 

In Be The Parent, Please, Naomi breaks down why kids don't need all the electronics we as parents provide. She writes about the addiction and how kids need that constant gratification. How we have taken away a lot of the bored, down time that is so detrimental to kids, to all of us. Even as adults we never leave home without our cellphone. I notice that I cannot just watch a movie at home with my husband. I need to have my phone and swipe or play a game. It is a sickness. I am in complete agreement that it is not good for us mentally and think we all need that down time. Time to shut our brains off to the stimuli around us. Time to think and time to recharge. We never do it anymore.
I see kids of all ages with phones and electronics as young as 3. I remember babysitting a little 3 year old years ago.  I was amazed with how good she was on an iPad.  It was so strange. I never used an iPad but this kid was swiping. She didn't know how to read but she knew how to use and iPad. Crazy.

If I could do it all over again I wouldn't have given my kids game systems at an early age. My autistic son is obsessed with gaming and has been from a young age.  However with that being said, they are getting phones this year. They will be in different schools and I will not be able to pick or drop both off anymore. One will have to take the bus as the school times are the same. The phone is for emergencies and it will be monitored just like the computer. So while I think we need to make conscious efforts to limited everyone's electronic time. I think it has to work for YOUR family. 

The book doesn't come off as preachy but informative. It reads well and there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you limit time on electronics. 
  
This is a must read for all families. Come up with what works for your family and remember they will only be little for a short time. Spend as much time with them as you can UNPLUGGED so that when they are older and out of the house, they won't consider an electronic visit, a visit with you! 

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary book for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

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