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From Santa to Sexting: Helping Your Child Safely Navigate Middle School and Shape the Choices that Last a Lifetime Paperback – January 9, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brenda Hunter, PhD, is a psychologist and internationally published author. Educated at Wheaton College and Georgetown University, she has served on two presidential commissions and written numerous books, including Home by Choice, In the Company of Women, and The Power of Mother Love. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show (Weekend), Larry King Live, and Focus on the Family radio. Dr. Hunter lives and works as a psychotherapist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Kristen Blair is an education columnist and writer. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Charlotte Observer, the Durham Herald-Sun, and Carolina Journal. Kristen has worked on family and educational policy at the national level for the federal government, a presidential commission, and Empower America. She and her husband Greg are the parents of two children, a tween and a middle school graduate. They live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (January 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891121307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891121305
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Remenderings on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From Santa to Sexting is pivotal reading for every parent earnestly desiring to rear strong children. The average parent, who is also humble, will admit that he or she does not have the research time or necessary experience to be fully aware of what our middle-school-aged kids are facing in this technology-flooded era.

Authors Hunter and Blair have combined fierce love of children, years of professional and familial experience, hoards of careful research, and passion for America's faith and future, in order to GIFT every reader with knowledge and tools otherwise inaccessible to him or her. As chapters unfold, meaty information about middle school life in general narrows to provide sharp, and sometimes startling, insight into cell phone, gaming, and social media dangers, as well as the depths of bullying, sexting, depression and teen suicide.

As a single mom, and also a believer in the power of faith in God, I close this book feeling both terrifically disturbed, and profoundly empowered to make informed and intentional choices that will positively affect the lives of my boys (and all posterity) forever.

Thank you SO much, Brenda and Kristin, for the personal sacrifice, skill, vulnerability, and courage that you have laid on the altar of conviction. May America's tweens and teens be blessed as committed parents choose to read and make hard decisions that will brightly color and shape their future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dls on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent resource for alerting parents to the potential pitfalls of technology and the effect of media on child development. I highly recommend that parents read this BEFORE their child gets to middle school. It will equip you to make informed decisions on the use of technology. This book is also helpful if you are already navigating the middle school years. There are thoughtful suggestions ("parent tips") on how to help your child navigate adolescence - especially how to handle technology, social media and the Internet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From Santa to Sexting is very well written, full of engaging examples and illustrations, scripture (loved the reference to Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of the temple and rebuilding the walls of our families) and the personal nuggets from Kristen and Brenda throughout are like finding treasures along the path! Just terrific! The parenting tips at the end of each chapter are ingenious, encouraging, and practical, and target the parent's mind and as well as heart! Because of these things and more, the book reads like an engaging novel that you can't put down! It should be in the hands of every parent, grandparent, and potential parent! Knowing and preventing the pitfalls of these vulnerable middle school years could help avoid much heartache. Would make a great gift...I have already purchased five copies!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy Allen on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I decided to give this book a read because I now have my 4th child going through middle school and I figure I can always do better as a parent. There were some very interesting topics covered. There were also a few opinions expressed by the authors that I didn't personally agree with.

I enjoyed the informative portions of this book a great deal. Some of the opinions and the less-than-subtle moral agenda didn't fly with my personal take on things, but I also have to say I can understand why the authors have come to some of their feelings on certain issues concerning middle schoolers.

I particularly found the chapter on Empathy very intriguing. Empathy was defined as the ability to feel someone else's feelings, but separating them from your own. The authors explored how this has gained cultural awareness because of the current upsurge in bullying. Even with schools attempting to teach empathy, instruction is only a secondary component. Empathy is learned by parents loving and showing a child empathy. It's not simply gained through cognitive-behavioral education. We can help redirect this in children by modeling empathy. When children of any age are shown empathy, they learn empathy and can then begin to demonstrate empathy to others in their social awareness.

I do part ways with the authors on their position regarding technology and social media. They pretty much purport that children should not have cell phones or access to social media until high school. While I believe in moderation of media consumption, including TV and video games, I don't lean as far towards limitation as they do (this could be because I'm a bit of a techno-geek and and user of social media.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David A Wright on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
As the father of a HS freshman and 7th grader (with a 4th grader in the pipeline), I found this book to be very effective in laying out the unique challenges of raising young men and women in what has become, in many ways, a hostile environment ("Ours is a culture that long ago forgot that parental walls and fences make childhood possible.") The authors bring helpful insights to timeless issues such as tween angst, peer acceptance and desire for freedom from parental authority. They also spend considerable time unpacking some of the newer issues parents face, not just online access to inappropriate content, but the broader issues of responsible and age-appropriate use of social media, gaming, and mobile devices. I especially appreciated the sections of the book detailing the loss of childhood that we, as a society, are taking from our kids. Much of our cultural messaging focuses on accelerating their emotional, sexual and behavioral development.

It is usually easier to identify problems than to put forward solutions, this book does both. I found it refreshing that while the authors provide many practical tips for parenting, it was clear that they strongly believe that a real relationship between parent and child is the only context within which these issues can be addressed. The examples from their own families well illustrate how their love for their children is the source of the limits they place on their activities, even though the kids don't always perceive the love at the time. Those personal vignettes were one of my favorite aspects of the book, at times humorous, sobering or simply endearing. Highly recommended!
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