Monday, November 17, 2014

Growing Up Social- Book Review and Giveaway

I have a confession to make.  Although I love to read, I am not good at remembering authors.  Sorry to all those amazing authors out there, but names I do not do well.  I can describe a book at length if you will let me, but please do not ask me to remember who wrote it.  There are few exceptions to the rule.

Except Gary Chapman.  Yes, his name I remember!  Years ago I read his book The 5 Love Languages and his name was stuck in my memory.  Great book, great author. 

Which is why I was so excited to be able to read and review his latest book,  Growing Up Social- Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World , co authored with Arlene Pellicane.

Electronics, screen time, social media, computers, Internet.  Those are all things we are pretty familiar with in our home.  I am a blogger after all.  I have four kids.  And two computers.  And four lap tops.  And an iPad.  And several iTouches and iPhones .  My family that is, not just me.  But you get the point.  We are no strangers to the world of screen time.

Which is also why this book title caught my eye.  And touched my life.  And challenged me.

In 14 chapters Chapman and Pellicane  talk about he pros AND cons of  screen time in our lives today.  Here's the question they ask- "Is technology bringing your family closer together, or is it driving your family farther apart?"  I think that is not only a fair question to ask, but an important one!

The first 7 chapters actually concentrate on raising relational children, focusing on what the authors call A+ skills.
  • Affection
  • Appreciation
  • Anger
  • Apology
  • Attention
In each chapter, Chapman and Pellicane address the specific A+ skill and how as a parent we can teach them to our children.  In addition, they discuss how screen time can harm those traits as well as help those traits.  Yes, screen time can be used for good.  That is one of he reasons I really liked this book.  It is not a media bashing book.  It truly is an objective look at how media screen time affects are lives- for good and bad.

Like did you know-
The Average American child and teenager spends 53 hours a week with media and technology. (p. 8)

That is a lot of time! 

But on the other hand, modern day advances in electronics allow us to skype with grandparents across the world and learn skills they would have never otherwise been exposed to if not for computers .  The trick is finding the right balance for your family.

The next 7 chapters address the hot topics of today concerning screen time and
  • Shyness
  • The Brain
  • Love Languages
  • Security
  • Parental Authority
  • The Single Parent
  • And You
Each of these areas are looked at objectively, and not just at how they affect young people, but adults alike.  Be forewarned, it can be convicting.  Like are really giving our children our full attention?  Are kids learning how to interact with people by watching us or how to hide in a world of electronics instead?  Are we using screen time as a babysitter?

Chapman and Pellicane do a good job throughout the book at pin pointing potential bad habits that you may have established and things that you can do to replace those habits with better ones.  Instead of bashing media, it encourages you to use caution and discernment and make rules along the way that fit for your family.  While one hour of electronic time may be fine for one family, it may be too much for another.  Only you can determine that, but Growing Up Social gives you some good food for thought to help you in that process.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes!  To every person out there.  But I would warn you that you should go in reading it with an open mind.  Only you know your family, and only you have the responsibility to make the right decisions for them.  Growing Up Social is a good book to put you on the right track to do so concerning screen time and the place it has in your life.  In addition, Growing Up Social has group discussion questions for each chapter that make it perfect for a book club or other discussion group.

We are blessed to be able to give away one copy of Growing Up Social!  Just leave a comment for us and tell us, what rules does your family have concerning screen time and your kids?  A random winner will be selected next Tuesday!

About the authors:
Gary Chapman- author, speaker, and counselor—has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit
Arlene Pellicane- is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She has been featured on The Today ShowThe 700 Club, and Family Life Today and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Arlene lives in Southern California with her husband, James, and their three children. Find out more at


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


  1. We don't have enough rules re: screen time. I think I really need to read this book!

  2. I'm interested in this. All of the kids are only allowed to be on approved websites and with permission. The computer screens are also visible to others in the room. I think I might be the one in my family to benefit most from this book.

  3. Hey Michelle----did my comment go thru? It didn't show up. But yes, we have some rules. Very important to us that our extroverted boy keeps up with those skills!

    1. Did now! ;) Having some issues but think we got them fixed!

    2. Oh good!

      Navigating this world has been very interesting. We've seen all our homeschooling family friends...and many friends who don't homeschool....enter this world of gaming et al. We're so selective about what our son can do....some Lego stuff, Angry Birds, a couple of other things. But we're all learning on the fly how to work with this, aren't we?

      Looking forward to the next installment in the princess tale! :)


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