Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World
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Why do we need another book about technology? Maybe we don’t, but we do need a book about how technology influences young people.
Technology is one of the benefits of living in today's world. It is a non-negotiable for success in our educational, vocational, and social cultures. Yet, with all the advantages there are inherent dangers, deceptions, and abuses. Teens often look to their digital tools to make them happy, when you set boundaries or take them away they feel frustrated and incomplete. Unhealthy habits formed in this stage of life easily carry over into adulthood and addictions to technology make other addictions more likely.
Highlights of the easy-to-read book include:
- Identifying the positive aspects of today’s teens and the digital age
- How technology contributes to self-centered character and negative behaviors
- Realistic solutions for parents regardless of their teen’s involvement
- Unmasking lies teenagers tend to believe, like “I must have choices” and “I am my own authority”
- How the truth of Christ is the ultimate source of contentment, freedom, and success
“I am thoroughly enjoying the book. I have one major issue though. I feel like the target audience is too narrow. Many of these problems can be prevented in the toddler and preteen years with proactive parenting.” - Parent Reviewer
04/01/2015 - 03:54:13 PM
Voice of Wisdom for today's Families
Making wise decisions as a parent can be difficult, how much more so for our children and teens? We desire for their choices to be smart or at least positive, for their focus to be on that which is beneficial. As a believer, my desire is for my daughter's focus to be on her Lord and His will for her in all circumstances. Who has her heart's focus? What voice is she listening to, what wisdom? I could guide these things when a younger child, but now there are so many competing voices and attention grabbers. My goal should not be to keep her under the umbrella of my protection, but to show her how to use her own umbrella.
My goal, yes, but in the midst of a world with louder voices and sounds, more options than even I can choose from. The sound of that distant child's song, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see" daily shouting failure as I struggle to find control over ever electronic device from a heart of fear. Yet these same electronics are tools to communicate with another Autistic daughter. How can I expect wise choices from my teen when I struggle to find my own in a cacophony of advice?
Enter the wisdom of Dr. Kathy Koch in "Screens and Teens", practical advice. More than that, an eye-opener to the lies we have allowed to penetrate our families and our youth, lies taken as acceptable truths. Dr. Kathy does not leave us with correction and nowhere to go, throughout "Screens and Teens" we find truth. Truth to counteract every lie we face as parents, and every lie our children face. Our teens need us. They need us to model and guide them to find wisdom and joy. They need us to guide them through the chaos of choices to find peace, even when that means limiting the noise. We need to know we do not have to lose our youth to this accepted idea of teens versus parents, we can keep their hearts and their focus. All this in one book? Yes. "Screens and Teens" gives answers and healing when there seems to be none. A book for parents, youth and even children to begin asking questions and seeking those answers as a family, these screens we live with have a place, we can allow our family to define it without sacrificing family or child.
Reviewed by HeathBard
03/11/2015 - 03:44:06 PM
Excellent and a Must Read
Today's families have new waters to navigate now that technology is involved and changing daily. Dr. Kathy does not stand on a soap box between all good or all evil, but rather gets us to ask ourselves the important questions like what and how much does are family want to participate in. I found myself not only thinking about my kids connectedness but my own as well.
Children need to be reminded that they are not the sole focus in the world (thank you selfies) and that Jesus is their guide not social media.
Thank you Dr. Kathy for this wonderful book!
Reviewed by prkrabel
03/10/2015 - 08:37:14 PM
Such a great book!!
Screens and Teens not only gives great insight into the minds of our children, but also how we can engage them in open communication. I will be honest; I went into reading this book with the assumption that it was going to tell me I was doing everything wrong. I’m pleased to say I was incorrect about my assumptions. Dr. Kathy does an amazing job at showing us all the things we are doing right in parenting, and also touches on many ways we can improve areas that we are unsure about. I found myself being able to relate to many ways I abuse or overuse technology as well.
Dr. Kathy offers many great suggestions for ways to unplug our kids from the everyday stresses of technology. Practicing technology-free evenings a few nights a week, learning how to teach our kids to embrace boredom and spark creativity, and taking time to just slow down and restore the family dynamic. The book also reminded me that my kids want to do great things in this world and it’s my job to guide them in that journey. To help them remember they have a purpose and that they need to take the initiative, with our guidance, to discover who they are and what they have to offer.
This book is not a technology-hating book. Instead, the author goes through the pros and cons of technology use in our children and gives us ways we can help our kids understand there is a great big world outside of their 3-inch screens. At the end of this book there are several questions for each chapter to help you really dig down deep and think about what is being said and how you would apply it in your family’s life. This book has really helped me take a look at my own use of technology and how I have allowed it to take over parts of my life. I am grateful to Dr. Kathy for sharing her insight on how to take back that control and use technology in healthy ways.
Reviewed by TCurtis526
03/10/2015 - 04:40:37 PM
#AppropriateUse #NotEvil #TeenstoChangetheWorld
This is a great book! It identifies the true connection problems we have in our wireless world. It takes a positive approach on how to handle the technologies in our lives; not seeing it as a necessary evil, instead as something that needs boundaries in each of our lives (not just our teens). I appreciate this book even now as a mom of a three children: four, six, and eight. Even though I do not YET have a teen, I would like to be pro-active in helping to set boundaries, and be prepared to teach my children to filter and evaluate the constant stream of information.
I found it very encouraging to discover in the book that our teenagers want to change the world. Dr. Kathy asserts, "Today's teens are ready to be challenged to be who they can be." My prayer is that parents will pick up this book and use it to help them structure their own technology usage so they in turn can model, teach, and guide the next generation. Through this, our teenagers WILL change the world for Christ! Dr. Kathy doesn't leave you with just pie-in-the-sky goals, she walks us through what our teenagers are going through, how we need to help in a general sense, and then very practical and specific things to avoid, and what to model and teach along with scripture. For instance, our teens need to avoid thinking "God has designed a rigid structure with no individualization." Instead we need to teach our teens to believe "God has a good plan for me. He treats me as a unique individual and doesn't use a formula." Dr. Kathy provides the following scripture list to help illustrate this truth: Job 10:8-9, Jer. 29:11, and Ps. 139.
May we use Dr. Kathy's words to practically help us apply God's word to technology usage, and shape the next generation for Christ.
Reviewed by HollyGordon
03/10/2015 - 04:34:54 PM
Wow! Dr. Kathy’s newest book may be called Screens and Teens Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, but I saw a lot about myself as well as my whole family as I read it. I love that this book is very applicable to ALL ages and not just teens.
My greatest take away was learning how to recognize, and therefore, be ahead of the lies that we ourselves and our children can learn through the use of technology. For example: the lie that “I deserve to be happy all the time”. Dr. Kathy says, “When today’s teens don’t get what they want the way they want it right now, many complain and argue. They may accuse us of not caring for them. Subconsciously they may think our job is to keep them happy.” She discusses the difference of happiness versus true joy and how true joy comes from the Lord. But you’re not left with just knowing what the lies that we learn from technology are. Dr. Kathy gives practical and easy ways to combat the different lies she discusses in the book. Discussingthe lie of “I deserve to be happy” exhibited in our culture of now she shares ideas such as screen free days and getting our children involved in opportunities to help and serve others.
I could write for hours about all the take-aways I have learned, but instead you should pick up a copy for yourself. Get your highlighter ready, because you’ll need it!
Reviewed by Nbittermann
03/09/2015 - 11:01:57 PM
Knew I would love it!
Do you ever know before you read the first word in a book that you will love it with your whole heart? Do you know it's going to hit the keeper shelf before you even pick it up? That's what I knew about Screens and Teens by Dr. Kathy Koch. Now that I have (gulp) TWO teenagers in my house, I knew I needed to get my hands on this book and read it.
I had the pleasure of (briefly) meeting Dr. Koch at a MOPS convention about 7 years ago. I attended her session on the Multiple Intelligences everyone has. That brief talk impacted me more than I can express. Let me tell you something, Dr. Kathy 'gets' kids. We could extrapolate that to say she 'gets' people, but her focus is on kids. She helped me figure out how to teach Nathan, my son with autism, the ways he is differently smart from many of his friends. I've used her book, "How Am I Smart," to connect with all three of my children.
And now, with her newest book, "Screens and Teens - Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless World", she's done it again. Her book made more sense to me than anything I've read about teens. By the end of the first chapter, I had more understanding of my 17 year old than I had gained in the past 5 years of researching teens. She's that good and that on target.
I'm so excited this book is available. I have the ebook, but I'm going to get a paper copy. This is a book I need to read again...and highlight. Lots of highlighting. Her explanation on why teens change their mind so often was so easy to understand. It suddenly made several things make sense.
Dr. Kathy addresses how society treats technology and gives some practical hints to help offset the messages our children are given. Let's be clear, this isn't a technology-hating book. It should be used to help guide decisions about technology and help interested adults understand the mindset of teens.
Reviewed by coolestmommy
03/08/2015 - 12:39:28 PM
Our children are growing up impatient and wanting to be happy all the time
Dr. Kathy’s, Screens and Teens connecting with our kids in a wireless world is a must read for all families with children. No matter what or who you believe in this is a must read. Not all families are alike but all families have technology encroaching on family time. Our children are growing up impatient and wanting to be happy all the time, they think if we buy them the latest technology or the latest iPhone they will be happy. You have even been told “all my friends have fill in the blank__________” this makes connecting with your kids hard, but all the more reason to help them learn to balance technology with their life.
My favorite quote is “Parent power can be stronger than screen power” when sometimes it seems like you are losing the battle Dr. Kathy gives you the tools you need to win that battle with your teens over screens. Believe me with four kids I have plenty of battles and battling for screens is just not one I like very much. I have a 21 year old all the way down to 9 so I have seen the change. Little by little first a new gaming system then cell phones and before you know it your life is surrounded by technology. Televisions became inexpensive and you could have a Screen in every room and now screens in our hands going everywhere with us every second of every day. It’s kind of scary if you really stop and think about it. But there is no need for fear anymore because the book, Screens and Teens connecting with our kids in a wireless world is here to help. With your purchase of this must have book, Dr. Kathy also gives you a website and videos to help you along with your journey finding a balance with your teens and screens.
Reviewed by Mama66
03/06/2015 - 03:00:24 PM
Technology is everywhere and effects everyone
"Screens and Teens" by Dr. Kathy Koch is SO much more than 'just' a book about teenagers and technology. Any parent of any age child should read this book; actually the younger the better! Technology is everywhere and effects everyone. By reading this book, it helped me to understand how technology is effecting me and my teenagers. This book is full of resources to help parents to help our children how to navigate through this overwhelming technology that is in every aspect of their lives. She also gives easy to understand pros and cons AND ideas how to parent our kids though their technology generation which is very different than my generation. There are many parenting books and many books about technology but I've NEVER read a book like this before. It's opened doors into my teens' lives and provoked conversations I hadn't had before I read this book. I am SO grateful that Dr. Kathy understood the need, and put in many hours of research, and bundled it up into this book!
Reviewed by lwmalzacher
03/06/2015 - 02:43:41 PM
Poignant and practical
In this latest book, Dr. Kathy Koch lays out a revealing look at the way technology is affecting our kids, our families, and relationships with one another. She shares how our digital world is shaping the way kids view themselves, their world and their faith. Not only does she bring to light these issues with our kids, she helps parents see how our own attraction to electronics influences the way we lead, teach and nurture our kids. The best part is that Dr. Koch leaves us with practical answers to these issues. Each chapter provides adjustments in our attitudes and actions that can make a significant difference in the way we connect to our kids.
Reviewed by tbenedict