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Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World Paperback – March 1, 2015
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"If you’re a parent of teens or preteens, or you work with teens or preteens, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the phenomenon of teens stuck to their screens–whether it’s phones, tablets, computers, or other technology. And, you’ve likely noticed the difficulty of talking with these tech-savy kids who have grown up not knowing what life is like without technology at their fingertips. In her latest book, Screens and Teens: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World, Dr. Kathy Koch, helps parents and youth workers explore these topics and discover principles and practices to connect with teens who seem inseparable from their screens.
Koch explores the following topics:
technology and our deepest human needs;
truths about today’s teens;
less and more (less screen time, more family time);
lies that come through to teens through technology;
and the ultimate connectivity.
While Koch provides a lot of amazing advice, personal anecdotes and real-life stories, she also takes a biblical approach to communication, which I wholeheartedly appreciate. And, there’s a discussion guide included at the back of the book, and its purpose is to jumpstart discusions about technology and its influence. These are great questions that can be used in a small group study setting, in a parenting class, or even by parents and their teens.
This book is full of practical advice. There were some “Oh, yeah. That’s the truth” moments and there were some of those lightbulb, “Now it makes sense moments!” I’ve come away from Screens and Teens with some very easy-to-implement strategies and ideas as I navigate life with a teen and do my best to disciple her to become more Christ-like.
I highly recommend Screens and Teens for parents, youth pastors, youth teachers–anyone who deals with teens regularly. It’s an easy, yet challenging read, but one that will equip you to better connect with and communicate with the teens and preteens in your life. Learn more at www.screensandteens.com
Screens and Teens is written by Dr. Kathy Koch is the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., a Christian ministry based in Fort Worth, Texas. She is an internationally celebrated speaker who has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, workshops, seminars, assemblies, and other events. Find out more about the author at www.DrKathyKoch.com.
* Note: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for this honest review."
Reviewed by Laura Langley, Feb 4, 2015
"Dr. Kathy continues to inform and inspire me with Screens and Teens. I feel better equipped to parent my kids in our constantly changing world because of her wisdom. Dr. Kathy’s expertise makes her my "go-to" person when I have questions about technology and the way it affects our family. Whether you have kids or not, this book will make you more aware of the tech-driven world we live in and encourage you to make bold, smart choices."
—Kirk Cameron, Actor/Producer
"As a dad trying to make sense of parenting in this brave new world, I read everything that Kathy Koch writes. Practical, thoughtful, hopeful, and enjoyable, she is a wise guide. And I found Screens and Teens to be her best book yet. Parenting today means understanding what technology and media do to us and to our kids, and knowing what to do in light of the challenges. This book offers both."
—John Stonestreet, speaker and fellow, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and senior content advisor, Summit Ministries
"Technology has changed our world big time. Although tempted, even if I could, I wouldn’t turn back the hands of time. For instance, I’m glad I have a cellphone. I’m glad I have access to the Internet. For the most part, I’m glad for Facebook and Twitter. But not everything that goes with this digital revolution is a good thing. How many people in your church are checking emails during the Sunday sermon? Ever see a family at a restaurant, all gazing at their phones with not a single word being spoken? Screens and Teens helps us navigate this brave new world by helping us see the bigger picture—especially how ultimately media impacts character and spiritual maturity."
—Bob Waliszewski, director, Plugged In, and author of Plugged-In Parenting
"Talking on a phone for hours isn’t anything new for a teenager, but having a phone on 24/7 is. What’s a parent to do in the face of this relentless fascination with screens? Enter Dr. Kathy. She has the uncanny ability to be an advocate for teens and parents alike. She will help you better understand your tech-savvy teen and show you how to meet your child’s deepest needs (no phone required)."
—Arlene Pellicane, coauthor, Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World
"In a world of ever-changing technology and cultural values, parents need wise voices, well-researched advice, and practical help as guardrails for their growing children. Kathy Koch, Celebrate Kids, and Hearts at Home are motivated, care about the children of this world, and walk alongside parents in helping guide them."
—Pam Farrel, author of 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask about Sex
"As Dr. Kathy Koch says in this important book, our kids don’t think much about technology. It’s their way of life, and using it is as natural as breathing. That doesn’t mean they don’t need help navigating this area of life. They do—just like all others—in a way that is healthy vs unhealthy. I must admit as a parent of a fifteen- and a twelve-year-old, I have been intimidated by not knowing how to do that. Now with this book I finally have an excellent tool that will make all the difference for me and my family."
—Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher and bestselling author of For Women Only and For Parents Only
"Screens and Teens offers sound, sensible, and balanced advice for moms and dads swimming in the cyber seas of online concern. Deftly researched and written in an easy-to-digest manner, it’s a wonderful what-to-do-and-consider reading application for parents everywhere."
—Julie Barnhill, speaker and author
"From smartphones to computers to tablets to TVs, it seems like everything we do in life involves a screen. In Screens and Teens, Dr. Kathy Koch leaves readers with a strategy for success. Very quickly, she draws us in to the power of screens and the effect they have on our lives. And she’s quick to point out that it’s not just kids. Parents get sucked into screen time just as easily. Koch’s presentation is quite balanced. She never errs on the side of condemning technology but instead is careful to present technology as a magnifier—it simply makes some mistakes easier to make. If you have a teen who’s struggling with phone issues or simply wants to be proactive, this is the book to read."
—Josh Olds, LifeIsStory.com
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Although "Screens and Teens" will resonate with parents who prefer a faith-based perspective, I find Dr. Koch's book to be a critical resource and common-sense guide for ALL parents in this digital age. I highly recommend this book!
Holli Kenley M.A.,MFT
Author Cyber Bullying No More: Parenting A High Tech Generation (Growing with Love)
Another Way: A Novel
There were also a few typos and grammatical errors. Someone should have caught them before the book was published.
Overall, helpful information for parents looking for a Christian perspective on screens and teenagers. But, due to typos and repetitive nature, I give it 2 stars.
I only “wish” I had found this book BEFORE we gave our girl her first phone. She’s 15yo now and undoing what has already been done (didn’t take long-just 1.5 years prior) is one of the HARDEST challenges we have been faced with, so far.