Saturday, July 16, 2011

Connecting with Kids About Media

Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids with Love, Not War is a book for parents on how to navigate the world of technology that sometimes seems foreign to adults. In this book Bob Waliszewski does not lay definite rules of “Good” and “Bad” for media, but suggests parents get involved with their children's choices of websites, video games, and even texting. One thing he didn't mention was books. I know children and teens don't read today like they once did, but books still send messages, good or bad, and I'm sure the author believes this or he wouldn't have penned a book himself!

As the book began, I thought it was going to be one where the parents make the rules and lay down the law. In fact, I still thought this a couple chapters in, but then it seemed to take a change. One thing the author suggested was a family media contract where any new media must be approved of by the parents, and if it doesn't meet the guidelines agreed upon in advance, the child is out the new CD/video game/DVD, and also is out the money they spent on that item.

Waliszewski gives advice on how to deal with situations when schools or other parents want to show a movie you don't approve of. He gives advice for both parents and the child in that situation.

This book is adaptable, so it will be relevant in a few years as it is today. Just because there is some yet-to-be-invented media down the road won't make the principles of this book any less relevant because he discusses how to have an open and honest dialog with your children so they learn good decision making skills about entertainment choices.

FTC disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. The opinions of it are my own.

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