For the next few months, I am going to do a brief recap of some powerful parenting (with educational topics) books I’ve read.
Sometimes reading quotes from books helps shift my mindset on certain topics and gets me focused on what’s really important when raising children.

Book Title: Wired Child

Author: Richard Freed

Parenting Book Review-Wired Child -

About the Author:

Richard Freed is a child and adolescent psychologist and the author of the book Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age. He completed his professional training at Cambridge Hospital / Harvard Medical School and the California School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Freed is a contributor to the Huffington Post and is a speaker on child technology for parents, teachers, and health care providers. He lives in Walnut Creek, California with his wife and two daughters.

Book Synopsis:

A practical guide to building your child’s bond with family and fostering school success amid the allure of digital screens

Kids’ obsessive use of video games, social media, and texting is eclipsing their connections with family and school—the two most important contributors to their well-being. The result: a generation of kids who suffer from soaring rates of emotional and academic problems, with many falling prey to an epidemic of video game and internet addictions.

In Wired Child, learn why a bevy of social media friends won’t keep teens from feeling empty inside and turning to cutting for relief. See how our kids have become smartphone experts who struggle in reading, math, and the other educational basics that colleges consider in deciding admissions. And discover how many “child-friendly” technologies are depriving kids of joy in the real world, putting them at risk for device addictions.

Wired Child gives you the confidence and skills you need to safely navigate your children through a rapidly shifting media landscape. Dr. Freed offers concrete parenting strategies that will help you create the strong family kids need and encourage their school success. You’ll also learn how to protect kids from destructive tech addictions, and instead guide them to use technology productively as a positive force for their future.

My Recommendation:

This book may make you uncomfortable at times and angry because it will encourage you to take a hard look at your own parenting practices. However, it’s well researched and has important information that could significantly improve your child’s experience growing up with technology.

Top Ten Quotes:

  1. While it’s common for kids and parents to text during meals (70% of parents allow this) it’s vital to set digital devices aside to allow the benefits of eating together. The key is to have at least one parent or caregiver sit down to eat with kids.
  2. A family’s togetherness suffers if we allow distracting technologies to compete for love and attention. We need to root family traditions in sources that don’t have corporate profits as their first goal, and instead have our children’s best interest at heart.
  3. Children often named three examples of being emotionally hurt and not wanting to show it when their parent was using a device rather than paying attention to them: at meals, during pickup either after school or an extracurricular activity, or during sporting events. *research by Sherry Turkle
  4. Children’s relationships with their parents profoundly impact nearly every facet of their behavior. Kids with a healthy parent attachment regulate their emotions better, score higher intellectually and academically, and have higher self-esteem than kids without a healthy parent bond. Attachment remains vital into the teen years. Teens are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to kids with poorer family bonds.
  5. Kids’ use of technology is not the problem. The problem is our kids’ extreme overuse of entertainment technologies that is displacing the experiences that are fundamental to a strong mind and a happy, successful life.
  6. Imaging studies show that video gaming triggers the release of dopamine at levels comparable to an intravenous injection of amphetamine, a powerful and addictive psychostimulant. Other imaging studies show that video gaming mirrors the effects of drugs and alcohol as it stimulates the brain’s pleasure pathway. Areas of the brain impacted by video gaming include the cyngulate gyrus (an area involved in motivation) and the prefrontal cortex (the key area affecting insigte, self-control, and decision making).
  7. Teens have a profound struggle with insight and judgement . Dramatic changes that normally occur in the adolescent prefrontal cortex and other brain areas compromise these abilities in teens. But adding a tech addiction to the mix is a nasty combination, as addictions hijack the same brain structures that are already compromised in teens, further diminishing their ability to recognize they have a problem and make good decisions about their future.
  8. Kids learn primarily from what they observe of us at home. If we want our kids to engage in activities like reading and homework when at home, we need to role model good work habits for them.
  9. Absolutely missing in peer relationships are unconditional love and acceptance, the desire to nurture, the ability to extend oneself for the sake of the other, the willingness to sacrifice for the growth and development of the other.
  10. Be proactive, no reactive. Proactive parenting gives kids the structure they need on the front-end, not after problems that have already occurred.

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