(Note: I was given a copy of this book for review but my opinions are my own.)
First, let me share a little experience that I had. A young family (a father, mother, and two young sons) visited my husband and I. It was a lovely summer day. We were outside on our patio.
The kids ran screeching with delight for our swing set. My husband and I followed them. We pushed them — higher, higher!
As my husband and I enjoyed playing with these kids, I looked at their parents. They stood at the edge of our patio, cell phones clutched in their hands, deeply intent on their phones — oblivious to their children.
I have no idea what they were doing on their phones. But, I definitely knew what they were NOT doing. They weren’t playing with their kids. They were not ‘in the moment.’ They were not having a great bonding time with their children. I felt sad for them.
In Be The Parent, Please, Naomi Schaefer Riley urges parents to take a hard look at their own personal lives, how they use technology, how it impacts them, and how it impacts their parenting habits.
In her book, Riley says that parents need to seriously evaluate how technology affects their family life and ask, “Is this really the the type of life that I want for my family?” and “What is the purpose of technology in our lives?”
And on the flip side of technology, Riley tells parents that they need to fundamentally decide how their children are going to interact with other family members, with friends, and the world around them.
Here are a few nuggets I gleaned from the book:
- Youth of today are developing a level of narcissism unknown to previous generations.
- A survey done by Kaplan Test Prep, 40 percent of college admissions officers report checking applicants’ social media before deciding whether or not to give them an acceptance letter.
- Pornography is becoming a major source of sexual ‘information’ where boys develop their attitudes about sex and their beliefs that girls are ‘objects’ and there to give boys pleasure — and sadly girls are accepting that role.
- Habitual players of violent video games may be at risk for not only developing aggressive, antisocial behavior but also for having a limited imagination and limited scholastic interests.
- Youth have a difficult time focusing on a single thing or maintaining sustained thought outside of technology.
- Corporate America spends billions each year on in-house literacy and colleges spend billions on remedial education!
- Without adult supervision, teens do what’s easiest — taking selfies, being on Shapchat or Twitter. But these are not things that prepare them for adult life.
- Parents choose not to parent in difficult moments by giving their kids a cell phone, iPad, or tablet to distract them.
- Parents are trying to be friends with their kids instead of being the parents.
I want to say that I think EVERY parent needs to read this book. EVERY person who is contemplating having children needs to read this book. EVERY person that uses technology needs to read this book.
Parents need to take a long, hard look at how technology is impacting their kids and their relationship with others. Parents need to wake up to the fact that technology alters relationships. And, parents need to step up, be the adult, be the parent, and make conscientious choices about how to use technology!
Parents need to take the bull by the horns and step up and be a true parent! Parent intentionally — especially where technology is concerned!