Tuesday Book Review of Plugged In Parenting

Media Diet
Image by Adam Crowe via Flickr

“After listening to some speakers or reading their books, you might get the impression that media discernment is something negative-even cruel- you must do to your children. It’s all about limits and warnings and turning things off and saying, “No.”

The truth is that making healthy entertainment choices is a positive exercise with positive results. When you teach your kids to consume media wisely, you may restrict them in some ways-but broaden their horizons in others.”

Chapter 3 of Plugged-In Parenting

“Doing Your Child a Favor”

Having teenage boys, it was with interest, that I selected Bob Waliszewski’s book Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids with Love, Not War, to review for Tyndale House’s Blogger Review Program.

What I found was a book that provided me with a personal soul check on my own media consumption as well that for my kids.

Plugged-In Parenting is 10 chapters in length and divided into three sections. Bob begins by reciting both a litany of statistics regarding media usage as well as many stories of families struggling to provide good media experiences for their family.

Of those 10 chapters I found chapter three to be the heart of Waliszewski’s argument for helping your kids to learn to consume media wisely. In that chapter he lays out the positive side of helping kids to be ‘media savvy’ by helping them to see the value of really thinking through what they are watch and why and to honor God in those choices. Of note were the rewards of finding time “to explore the real world,” and the like.

Also of note are chapter 6, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment” and chapter 7, “Your Family Entertainment Constitution,” which outlines a proactive way to develop a media strategy for your family when the kids are younger. These chapters offer practical suggestions for working with kids in making helpful media choices and consumption.

Plugged-In Parenting is a book that attempts to avoid the extremes of “letting kids do whatever” and “absolutely not!” What I like is an attitude and approach that empowers kids to learn how to consume media (and the focus of the book is primarily on music and movies) so that they make good and spiritually healthy media choices as adults.

What I would hope to see if a future edition of the book is written is an additional chapter on social media as that, from my perspective, is now a large part of a teenager’s life. And I also want to encourage parents of young children to be thinking about their kids media assumption now rather than later. And I also suggest that you read this book now as a pro-active way of helping your kids become great media ‘critics’ later!

On my rating scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being a bad read, 2 being an so-so read, 3 an ok read, 4 a good read, and 5 a great read), I give this book a 4 a ‘good’ read.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. I was not required to give a positive review.

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