Growing up Social Giveaway with Arelene Pellicane

I’m so excited to have my friend, Arlene Pellicane back doing a guest blog post. She is sharing about her new book, Growing up Social: raising relational kids in a screen-driven world, that she co-wrote with Dr. Gary Chapman.  Be sure to leave a comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of two books.

Now meet Arlene and Dr. Gary.

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Arlene is a speaker and author of 31 Days to a Happy Husband and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Arlene worked as the Associate Producer for Turning Point Television. She earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. Arlene lives in the San Diego area with her husband James and their three young children.

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Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The 5 Love Languages. With over 30 years of counseling experience, he has the uncanny ability to hold a mirror up to human behavior, showing readers not just where they are wrong, but how to grow and move forward.

It was a beautiful day.

My family was headed to the beach with friends. Our family was in one minivan and their family was in another. Both of the vans were close together as we drove down the highway.  Suddenly from behind us, three motorcycles sped up and passed us. Right before our eyes, one of them popped a wheelie. The other motorcycle which had two riders took the challenge and did the same. We felt like we were watching a daredevil show from the comfort of our own minivan. Interstate 805 had never been so exciting!

It was certainly nothing we would ever want our children to do (drive recklessly on the freeway) but boy was it fun to watch! We followed those motorcycles for miles, hoping to see more of the show. We weren’t disappointed as they popped more wheelies and finally zoomed off the exit ramp with great fanfare.  When we reached the beach, we excitedly said to our friends, “Wow, that was amazing! Could you believe those motorcycles?”  The kids stared blankly at us.  They had missed the whole thing. They were watching a DVD from the backseat and hadn’t even noticed the motorcycles.

Another time, my family went on a whale watching cruise. When that whale fin finally appeared out of the water, we caught it. But dozens of children missed it. They were playing with their electronic devices inside the cabin.  There is so much in life to be missed when you are glued to a screen. It’s not just about those special moments like seeing a whale’s fin or watching motorcycles pop wheelies.

It’s about the everyday moments and chances to catch your child’s eye and smile. Emotions have to do with relationships. They are the responses to the things that happen in our lives, both pleasant and unpleasant. Children must learn how to process emotions, and none of that is learned in front of a screen. All of that is learned by interacting with parents, siblings, and other people in real time.  Face to face. A world that is dominated by screens is a false, controlled world that revolves around pleasing your child. If your child doesn’t like something on a device, he can just move onto the next thing until he finds something of interest. Kids don’t have to learn how to wait because gratification is instant.

What does that teach your child? Real life certainly isn’t characterized by endless options, drop down menus, and constant pleasure.  There is much to be missed as a parent as well. Too much screen time robs you of many teachable moments with your child, building family memories, and bonding with your child.  It may be easier to allow your child to have hours of screen time but have you considered the personal growth you may be missing out on as a parent?  Be brave. Flip off the remote and take a look outside the window. Who knows? You might just see some motorcycles flying by.

In Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World parents are reminded that they, not technology, are still responsible for educating their children about having healthy and fulfilling relationships. Although parents are not able to monitor every minute of their child’s screen time, they can guide their children to make positive choices, by example. Growing Up Social offers practical guidance on:

• Parenting Your Child Through Their Screen Life

• Screen Time and the Brain

• Screen Time and the Love Languages

• Screen Time and Parental Authority 

• Screen Time and Destructive Lifestyle Patterns

Now for the giveaway. Arlene's book

Two fabulous people will win a copy of Arlene and Gary’s book Growing up Social: Raising Kids in a Screen-Driven World.  Leave a comment on why this book would be helpful for you or share some hints that have helped your family reconnect face time interaction.

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48 Comments

  1. I’d love to read this book. My husband and I struggle so much with helping our boys manage their screen time. I’d love to take all media away from them but I know it’s not healthy, I need to teach them to manage it because it’s not going away. I want them to have the skills they need as adults to manage it themselves.

  2. Have 3 Daughters, spread out in age…all growing up with the concept of instant gratification! Thanks for the offer!

  3. This sounds like a thought provoking book book with pertinent information to our time and day! It would be a good book to read as parents to our 2 and 5 year olds. And good for mommy too!

  4. Karen, as a single mom of 3, my children had way too much TV time and video games. I was so busy working and trying to make ends meet that I just avoided that struggle. I am now a grandmother of 3 and am watching my grandchildren with their IPads and tablets at two years old and thinking…thus is just not right. ..can’t make the same mistake twice…I would love to share this book with my daughters! Thank you and God bless!

  5. I would love a copy of this book. I have five grandchildren and want them to grow up socially as well as physically strong. Too many children and adults are using their phones, kindles, computers, etc. for their social time and not learning how to talk with folks – kids their own ages or adults. If they are to learn social skills, they need to interact with one another – not look at a machine of sorts.We have a rule at our home – when you come in the door, all phones and “other” go into a basket so we can eat and laugh and make memories together – not look at a device all evening in lieu of facing and talking with one another. Hope I get a copy!

  6. As a mom of four (ages 10-18), I sometimes feel social media has left me in the dust. I recognize the dangers, I want to help my kids make wise choices, but it’s so pervasive, aggressive, and quickly changing…it’s hard to find my bearings. Would love to read this!

  7. I have a 13-year-old who spends most of her time behind her phone screen, yet she refuses to make a phone call. She balks at hanging out with friends that are not part of her core group. And she’s fearful of meeting new people. This is a child who never batted an eyelash at being left at preschool or in childcare at MOPs. She was always eager to interact until she discovered the world behind the screen. When she announced last week that she would die if anything ever happened to her iPhone, I knew we were in trouble. I think this book would help me to understand her more and reach her. Maybe I can get my daughter back!

  8. Our oldest daughters (11, 8) don’t get screen time or to play outside with friends Monday through Thursday after school. This allows time for homework, chores, and playing with their younger sisters (3, 1). They have allotted time on the weekends and have to earn more time by doing extra chores or tasks. This has greatly reduced the struggle with their wanting to play games online or watch tv/movies.

  9. Today we use computers for necessary and nteractins with schoolwork, office, calendar management, etc., in addition to being able to use them in more recreational ways. It seems with a large family that one of us is always on a screen. I would love advice on setting appropriate boundaries as well as maximizing safety. Thank you!

  10. Help! Cell phones and all electronic devices are ruining precious family time. I hardly ever see my son’s face anymore.

  11. I would love to win this book! I think this is a huge, critical issue that we are beginning to face an that it is only going to get worse. It would benefit my family to have a copy of his book as we are proud parents of tween /early teen kids as well as service partners to young people.
    This is an issue that has an impact on life and one that will have greater impacts on society as technology advances are made.

  12. So excited for this book! We have 2 girls, 7 & 8. I would love insight and wisdom in this area. I’m concerned with the level of iPad and time at school, and wondering long term effects.

  13. Even this post is convicting to me. I have thought a lot over just the past couple of weeks that my children, especially my youngest, have too much screen time. I need to be better about being actively engaged with them more at home instead home just being the place where they watch tv!!!

  14. Our family is big on limiting screen time, but at times it’s difficult. My oldest boy is teased at school for not having a phone, and my middle boy feels left out when he isn’t part of the video game conversations. So thankful someone supports our views of the necessity to limit screen time and the damage it can do, quietly, over time!!

  15. Godly advice in this area of parenting would be very helpful as on my boys love to play games on kindle, iPod etc.
    One thing my husband and I did to limit screen time and get your kids involved, was to have a chart and our boys had to earn screen time-however, just as one can earn it, the time can be lost as well. We also choose to have a TV in our house but our children don’t watch television, it is only for DVD ‘s. Also, on my laptop I have a selection of kid friendly videos that can be used at certain times.Each family will have to decide what is right and what works for them and their children but I hope sharing what we did might be a help to someone.

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