Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World

Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World

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Overview

Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World by Kathy Koch, PhD


If you feel like you’re losing your teen to technology, you’re not alone.

Screen time is rapidly replacing family time, and for teens especially, it is hardwiring the way they connect with their world. 

In Screens and Teens, Dr. Kathy helps you make sense of all this and empowers you to respond. She:

  • Exposes the lies that technology can teach your teen
  • Guides you in countering those lies with biblical truths and helpful practices
  • Shares success stories of families who have cut back on technology and prioritized each other

Kathy’s research, experience, and relatability all come together for an inspiring book, sure to help you be closer with your kids.  

Grab a pen and get ready to underline, circle, and write "That’s so us!" in the margins. Be equipped to keep your family connected. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802412690
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2015
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 113,713
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author


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 over 25 countries through keynote messages, workshops, seminars, assemblies, and other events. She also blogs regularly at www.DrKathyKoch.com.Dr. Kathy coauthored with Jill Savage, No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids For Who They Are, helps parents understand why they must get to know their children to parent them wisely. How Am I Smart? A Parent's Guide to Multiple Intelligences helps parents understand their children's learning strengths. Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness: 5 Questions That Will Change Your Life provides a solution-focused, enriching approach to real problems. Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, helps parents make sense and respond to screen time that is rapidly replacing family time, especially among teens.Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University. She was a tenured associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a teacher of second graders, a middle school coach, and a school board member prior to becoming a full-time conference and keynote speaker in 1991.

Read an Excerpt

Screens and Teens

Connecting With Our Kids In A Wireless World


By Kathy Koch, Annette LaPlaca

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Kathy Koch
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1269-0



CHAPTER 1

TECHNOLOGY AND OUR DEEPEST HUMAN NEEDS


Most teens today have seen electric typewriters only in the movies (old movies or retro movies set in old times), and they may never have seen a manual typewriter. But I'm old enough to remember my family's first typewriters, manual and electric. That big, heavy, gray-and-white piece of technology was a sleek and shiny gift. I loved the changes it brought! Fast typing, with just a light tap on the keys. Tapping a return key instead of lugging across a heavy carriage. Adjusting to that piece of technology was, oh, so worth it!

We've come a long way, haven't we? Now we carry tiny computers in our pockets and purses. We add and delete and access a world of information with just a click or two. The changes—from electric typewriters to today's slim and efficient technological tools—have been continuous. It's the speed of changes that takes my breath away! Change happens now faster than it ever has before.

Is the speed of change influencing our kids? Could that be one of the reasons they're quickly dissatisfied with doing things the same old way? Is this why they want to line up at a store at midnight when a new game, movie, or device hits the market? Is it why they insist we get them the latest and greatest phone or other device even though theirs works just fine?

Our world changes, almost daily, with the changes in technology. And that's innocent, right? It seems as innocent as leaving behind Wite-out to correct typing errors in favor of the laptop's delete key! But are those changes having an impact on our children's behavior and beliefs—and on our own? Yes! In both negative and positive ways, technology with its rapid-fire advances is definitely shaping the personality and character and life path of young people.

Teens have always experienced peer pressure, but keeping up has reached intense levels of pressure for today's teens, who definitely feel a sense of urgency, as if they're going to be left out unless they have the best, the newest, the fastest, and the easiest. There's pressure to be the happiest, the most beautiful, the most talented. Do you hear any of these sentiments or see any of these attitudes in your home?

"My picture got more Tikes' last night than anybody else's. I knew it would."

"I'm not being rude. I'm multitasking, and I'm good at it."

"They can't expect me to use that. It's so slow! I've got to buy what Alicia has."

"That is way too hard. Is there an app to make it easier?"

"My parents are making such a big deal out of everything! All I'm doing is texting!"

"This stuff they're making us read is so ridiculous! That book is so old!"


If you haven't heard statements like these in your home yet, give it a minute. You probably will! These attitudes surface repeatedly in our technology-driven world. Listen and watch to see who your teens' "Joneses" may be—those other teens they want so much to keep up with—and consider how much pressure your kids are putting on themselves. While you're at it, pay attention to the pressure influencing you, too.

Our kids live in a world of screens. They have

• Digital/Smart Devices

• Internet/World Wide Web

• Social Networking

• Games, and

• TV/Movies/Radio/Streaming Services


This book isn't really about technology. But it is about how technology influences the beliefs and behaviors of teens and how parents can connect with their children to influence them positively. Parents and teens are both affected by the influences of our screen-saturated lives, but young people experience the effects with ferocious intensity.

I see the signs of screen-world stress in myself—and I'm middle-aged. Perhaps I notice it most in my own impatience (Why did that light just turn red?!) or in my desire to win every game of solitaire I play (I admit it!). I can get annoyed if I forget to program my DVR. I'm grateful for all the music I can choose from—though sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the numerous choices that I choose nothing at all. I depend on the convenience of the Internet for research, but I also feel frustrated because there's so much information there.

Screens are part of our lives, and they're here to stay. But we long for deep connection with the teens we love. And that means making sure we give our relationships their rightful priority and connect face-to-face.

Being honest and recognizing how technology influences you can improve your relationship with your teens. You can talk about what you have in common rather than being frustrated by differences.

One expert in the effects of media and technology on culture says, technology "is fast, cheap, effective, and cool. That's the good part. The bad part is that it's fast, cheap, effective, and cool." We all know that digital technology itself isn't the problem. Technologies and how we use them can be wonderfully life-giving. They are both tools and toys—tools we need and toys we enjoy. But the content and use of technology can cause problems when they begin to encroach on our development in five core areas of need that both parents and teens share.


TECHNOLOGY AND OUR FIVE CORE NEEDS

My interest in technology took a big leap when my staff and I met with Scott Degraffenreid, a social network analyst and statistician. Scott came to help us understand how young people were being affected by our digital culture and its rapid-fire changes. Scott became a trusted friend and a mentor for me in this area of digital influences.

As a staff we began to apply Scott's information about the culture of technology to what we knew about young peoples core needs of security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. Suddenly, the behaviors and problems we'd been recently observing in teens began to make sense.

God created every single person with deep core needs of security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. For more is than twenty-five years, I've been teaching about these God-given needs and how, ideally, we meet them in healthy ways. There have always been problems when people try to meet these five core needs in unhealthy or counterfeit ways. I began to see that teens were turning to technology and the digital culture to meet their deep core needs—and technology is a definite counterfeit that doesn't work to meet those needs.

We can start by getting better acquainted with the five core needs. You will find them familiar because you have them yourself!


Security

Security is our first core need, and it's defined by the question Who can I trust? We're healthiest when we meet our need for security in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, in trustworthy people, and in ourselves as we learn to be right and do right even when the burden is heavy. Security is rooted in forgiveness—from God, from others, and especially from ourselves.

Everybody has this core need for security; it only becomes a problem when we begin looking for security in all the wrong places. Some young people try to meet their need for security in their technology and its availability. Many believe technology will never let them down (as human relationships often do!). Perhaps we trust in technology because our computer disasters usually aren't disasters at all. Click a key to "Undo" the keystroke that was a mistake. Power down and reboot, and you're good to go. Have you been with teenagers who are "suffering through" power outages or coping with being at Grandma's house, where the cell signal is weak? Such interruptions of digital connectedness are big deals to them no matter how often we say they shouldn't be. When teens don't have instant access to their technology, their security feels threatened.

Many of today's teens are secure in things being quick, perfect, and easy. They trust that the access they need will always be readily available. They don't need directions to get anywhere because they have a phone with a GPS app. They don't need to remember a friend's phone number because every number is stored in their phones. They don't need to know Bible verses; they can easily look them up on a Bible app, too.

Teens are also secure in their ability to win and to be happy. It's what they trust that matters, not who. This is potentially very damaging because technology is not how God designed this need for security to be met.

Trusting people doesn't come naturally to young people partly because they're relating through social media and texting. It's hard to truly know people and develop friendship and discernment skills. They may be attempting to meet this need with the number of "friends" they have. What they don't understand is that security is not found in quantity (multiple online connections). It's discovered in quality (real and faithful relationships).

Christian parents cherish the hopes that their teens will ultimately have this need for security met deeply, once and for all, by God. But whether teens will rely on God to meet their need for security may be influenced by technology. The Web provides easy access to ideas about many religions and many gods. Some teens follow people we don't know through services like Twitter. They can access information without us being aware. Information could be presented to them (without their looking for it!) via advertising or links in their social feeds. People they follow and sites they visit may report things about the God of the Bible and the way we're choosing to raise our children that might cause them to think we're wrong and our God isn't the only One worth worshiping.

What is worship, after all? It's assigning lordship to God and giving him our attention and praise—and giving him primacy in our days. Have you ever seen teens with their tech tools and wondered if they almost worship their technology? It's where they turn for answers to their questions and to solve their problems. Others unwittingly downgrade God, treating Him casually like a friend on Facebook who may or may not like their status update. As teens become increasingly acclimated to speedy answers via the Internet, will it be harder for them to wait on God for an answer to prayer, if they do pray? Will young people be satisfied with a Bible app that provides a devotional each morning, considering that bit of Scripture as all the spiritual nourishment they need?

You can immediately realize that there are spiritual implications that accompany deep involvement with screens! But it's not all doom and gloom. A young persons security grows as they become more self-confident. Gaining knowledge (by using tech tools and platforms) can grow that "self-security." The ease of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and texting reinforces and can even strengthen relationships as they allow teens to be in regular contact and share much about their lives. For the discerning user, these platforms can also reveal inconsistencies, manipulation, and pride, clues that the wise young person can use to make better decisions about which friends he or she should keep at a distance and which they should engage with more personally.

Screens can positively affect faith development, too. Bible apps are convenient, and they allow us to keep the Bible with us. Devotional material read on handheld devices and Facebook posts from ministries, churches, and friends can encourage, humble, and mature young people. Worship music and videos of church services and concerts can be inspiring. Streaming allows teens to watch church services and conferences they might have missed in person.

When it comes to meeting our deep human need for security, we want technology to take its rightful place. Digital tools can't meet anyone's need for security but they can be tools that help teens develop the relationships with God and others that are real and trustworthy and nourishing.


Identity

Identity is our second core need. It's defined by the question Who am I? Because the way we define ourselves influences our behavior, it's essential that our identity is current and honest. This means we see ourselves accurately. Ignoring our weak areas or challenges is immature. Denying our strengths is just as bad. It's important for us to know who we are!

For some teens, screen use has contributed to an underdeveloped identity. They may be devoting so much time to gaming and staying connected with "friends" that they don't have time or desire to broaden their interests or learn new skills, which would grow and solidify their identity. Also, because technology makes many things easier, they may be lacking the perseverance, diligence, and teachability that are often essential for adding to their skill sets and character development. Posting on social networks can limit identity development because the tendency is for posts to acknowledge only certain aspects of their lives. That means friends and family can only provide comments or ask questions about those elements—the ones the teens choose to show. For example, they may post often about their musical interests and never mention that they volunteer at an animal shelter. As time goes by and no friends acknowledge or support the teen's interest in animal rescue, the teen may begin to devalue that interest and let it wane.

When young people interact with many people on social media platforms, their identity can get confused. Many of the people whose posts they follow don't even know them personally. Those writers are just making general statements about their generation. Yet their words can be very influential.

Words—even words tossed off casually on a social media venue—can strongly affect our teens. If someone whose opinion your daughter values makes a disparaging comment about her writing, she may dismiss her writing ability as unimportant. If she likes a particular sports team but finds out very few other people do, she may decide her inclination was wrong. In a matter of minutes, she can transition from believing one thing about herself to another. This shift in identity negatively influences security because she appears to be inconsistent.

Your son may "like" a musical group one day, and being a fan becomes part of his identity. After he finds out someone he values doesn't like that group, he'll quickly "unlike" them. But what about his friends who were glad he liked that group? Now they're confused and may communicate that to your son. They might actually be disappointed or angry. Now your son will experience the stress associated with trying to keep everyone happy.

But is this really so different from when we were teens ourselves? After all, we listened to the opinions of our peers—or of celebrities we read about or saw on television. The vast difference lies in quantity! Today's young people are coping with a deluge of widely divergent influences, while we had a much smaller circle of people influencing us, and they were probably more unified in their preferences. And the influence is nearly constant! Before there were cell-phones, young people had time off from their peers—times when they were at home with just their families. Now teens are with their peers and with online influences 24/7 since they can access their social media and the Internet all day long.

Because of this large array of influences in their daily experience, today s young people tend to be more conflicted about who they are and what they value. It's even harder for parents to know their kids well—and for teens to benefit from the opinions and wisdom of the parents who love them because they're listening to so many voices.

But before we overreact and unplug all of our screens, let's remember that technology can also enhance a teen's identity. Today's cameras allow young people to easily record and express what they enjoy and what they do. They can share through social media and gain interest and support from family and friends. Also, posts from others may inspire them to consider fresh ideas and undertake new projects or adventures. Teens can follow through where their personal interests lead them because finding information through the Web is easy.

Christian parents know that young people will be most whole and healthy when their identities are grounded in their relationship with God. The Bible is where they found out that they are created in Gods image (Genesis 1:27), deeply loved (l John 4:10), bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23), and so much more. Ideally they will add to these truths the pursuit of a personal relationship with Christ. Teens' use of the Internet and other tech tools can cause them to believe Christian truths or not. It depends on what websites they peruse, who they follow and listen to, how they use social media, and the types of television shows and movies they watch.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch, Annette LaPlaca. Copyright © 2015 Kathy Koch. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jill Savage

  1. Technology and Our Deepest Human Needs
  2. Truths About Today's Teens
  3. Less and More
  4. Lie #1: I Am the Center of My Own Universe
  5. Lie #2: I Deserve to Be Happy All the Time
  6. Lie #3: I Must Have Choices
  7. Lie #4: I Am My Own Authority
  8. Lie #5: Information is All I Need So I Don't Need Teachers
  9. The Ultimate Connectivity

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Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MSMcCurdy More than 1 year ago
Following up on her book 'How am I Smart?' Dr. Kathy Koch had blessed us with a further help for the teens in our lives. "Screens and Teens 'is another great tool to help us discern the effects of the technology revolution that our kids live in as everyday normal life. Dr. Kathy doesn't just lecture from the perspective of a sociologist observing the world but rather as a friend who loves children and wants to see them grow up with discernment for the proper use and place of technology in their lives. In this book she gives practical advice that isn't fear mongering as to the problems with social media but rather a realistic look at the negatives and ways to combat them. However, this is not a negative book, but it is an encouragement to take seriously the rise of social media and the demise of true socialization. She encourages us to meet the true needs of our children (Security, Identity, Belonging, Purpose, and Competence) so that we take ourselves by the nap of the neck initiating the journey back to family socialization, involvement in healthy friendships, and disciplined enjoyment of the positive aspects of social media. Definitely a book for "such a time as this.' I look forward to using this in a parenting group. A great tool for the social media wars all parents face today!
Sparkypink More than 1 year ago
  I have heard Dr. Kathy Koch speak on several different occasions, and have read several of her books.  She is a wealth of knowledge and I have loved everything I have heard her say. So I was super excited when I had the opportunity to receive a copy of her latest book, Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, in exchange for my honest review. First of all, don’t let the name fool you.  My kids are 10 and 7.  I have been slowly watching technology completely take over their lives.  And if I am perfectly honest, at 41, it is completely taking over my life as well. It’s not too early to start implementing changes with my children, and it’s not too late for me, either! I love that Dr. Kathy is not anti-technology.  She recognizes that technology is here to stay, and acknowledges its importance in life as we know it.  Technology itself is not the issue.  It is how we use the technology and how we let it dominate our lives. As a Christian, Dr. Kathy discusses how children are using technology to fill their core needs (Security, Identity, Belonging, Purpose, and Competence), when they should be filling those needs with God.  Kids’ brains are being rewired to expect choices for everything, instant gratification, and constant happiness.  Dr. Kathy gives great practical suggestions for how we can help lead our children (and ourselves) to make wise choices and into a relationship with God. Dr. Kathy is a terrific writer with a great message.  I could not put this book down.  I have already started making changes in our technology use, and have noticed a change in my children’s behavior already. You will not regret reading this book. I cannot sing its praises highly enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Screens and Teens, Dr. Kathy Koch shares so much insightful, Biblical wisdom about the effect that tech is having on not only our kids, but on us as well. She doesn't leave you feeling hopeless, but hopeful. She shares ways to change the use of technology in our homes. She gives parents back their "power" to make good choices for their children; to limit screen time and promote interactive play and family time. It's so important that parents everywhere get this information. Screens and Teens is easy to read, as Dr. Kathy has a lovely sense of humor and down to earth approach. She doesn't talk down to parents (or kids), but also doesn't beat around the bush. I recommend this book for parents of any age child... not just teens. Kids are starting younger and younger with technology in their hands... everywhere you go you see little ones carrying around mom or dad's phone, watching videos or playing games. This book will give you perspective for your own tech use as well. Our family now has tech-free zones (like the dinner table and car), tech limits (1/2 hour- hour, depending on the age of the child), and tech-free days (we chose Sunday). Please read this! You'll be blessed.
BookladyPK More than 1 year ago
Today's families have new waters to navigate now that technology is involved and changing daily. Dr. Kathy does not stand on a soap box between all good or all evil, but rather gets us to ask ourselves the important questions like what and how much does are family want to participate in. I found myself not only thinking about my kids connectedness but my own as well. Children need to be reminded that they are not the sole focus in the world (thank you selfies) and that Jesus is their guide not social media. Thank you Dr. Kathy for this wonderful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Valuable Insight but not just for Teens Dr Kathy Koch is always an inspiring speaker and this book challenges me. In our very tech-y household, we have real challenges and addictions to technology and screens. Screens And Teens is definitely challenging what had become our norm! Too much screen time had compromised the social skills of everyone in my household… not just my kids. When we tried screen-free days, my kids couldn’t get along at first! Talk about an eye-opener!! But this book isn’t just for parenting. I appreciate Dr Koch’s insight and am gradually making concrete changes for the good of my family. This book is very real and applicable to anyone in today’s world! There are great practical tips on how to balance the gifts of technology, while encouraging us to focus on what really matters. 
ashmckbrown More than 1 year ago
There is no technology shaming in this book. There is no blame. Just logical insights, and a wake -up call to think about what habits our culture has wandered innocently into. I've read books before that are filled with wisdom, but once finished, left me thinking, "yes, but how?" More than strictly theory, more than strictly a list of to-dos, this book by Dr, Kathy Koch is encouraging parents to think carefully about the policies/permissions/acceptable use practices they establish with kids/teens now. My children are 11.9,6 and I am so glad to be reading this before we venture into the teen world of phones/ipods and more. It is a book so thick with good thoughts, that I read it slowly, spending time thinking and asking questions of myself and my spouse.  Dr. Kathy states. "This book isn’t really about technology. But it is about how technology influences the beliefs and behaviors of teens and how parents can connect with their children to influence them positively.” That should strike the heart of every parent.
Coolestmommy More than 1 year ago
Do you ever know before you read the first word in a book that you will love it with your whole heart? Do you know it's going to hit the keeper shelf before you even pick it up? That's what I knew about Screens and Teens by Dr. Kathy Koch. Now that I have (gulp) TWO teenagers in my house, I knew I needed to get my hands on this book and read it.  I had the pleasure of (briefly) meeting Dr. Koch at a MOPS convention about 7 years ago. I attended her session on the Multiple Intelligences everyone has. That brief talk impacted me more than I can express. Let me tell you something, Dr. Kathy 'gets' kids. We could extrapolate that to say she 'gets' people, but her focus is on kids. She helped me figure out how to teach Nathan, my son with autism, the ways he is differently smart from many of his friends. I've used her book, "How Am I Smart," to connect with all three of my children.   And now, with her newest book, "Screens and Teens - Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless World", she's done it again. Her book made more sense to me than anything I've read about teens. By the end of the first chapter, I had more understanding of my 17 year old than I had gained in the past 5 years of researching teens. She's that good and that on target.  I'm so excited this book is available. I have the ebook, but I'm going to get a paper copy. This is a book I need to read again...and highlight. Lots of highlighting. Her explanation on why teens change their mind so often was so easy to understand. It suddenly made several things make sense.  Dr. Kathy addresses how society treats technology and gives some practical hints to help offset the messages our children are given. Let's be clear, this isn't a technology-hating book. It should be used to help guide decisions about technology and help interested adults understand the mindset of teens. 
tambene More than 1 year ago
Poingnant and Practical. In this latest book Dr. Kathy Koch lays out a revealing look at the way technology is affecting our kids, our families, and relationships with one another. She shares how our digital world is shaping the way kids view themselves, their world and their faith. Not only does she bring to light these issues with our kids, she helps parents see how our own attraction to electronics influences the way we lead, teach and nurture our kids. The best part is that Dr. Koch leaves us with practical answers to these issues. Each chapter provides adjustments in our attitudes and actions that can make a significant difference in the way we connect to our kids.
tntcarlson More than 1 year ago
“Digital tools can’t meet anyone’s need for security, but they can be tools that help teens develop the relationships with God and others that are real and trustworthy and nourishing.” I am always looking for tools to enhance my relationship with God and others as well as inspire my children to do the same. Dr. Kathy Koch’s new book, Screens and Teens: Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless Word does just that. Most days I can’t decide if technology is a tool to better our lives or an obstacle in the way of everything we desperately need. In this book, I found the affirmation I was looking for with the boundaries already in place for my children when it comes to technology. Surprisingly, I also found inspiration to improve relationships by embracing technology for good as well.  Parents will find affirmation and inspiration from Dr. Kathy. Not only was I empowered to equip my 13-year-old, 9-year-old and 6-year-old with the wisdom offered to me in this book, but was challenged with how technology impacts my life personally as well. This book is a must read not only for parents of teens but anyone trying to balance the pros and cons of technology in their everyday life. 
mhabrych More than 1 year ago
Dr. Kathy says near the beginning of this book, “This book isn’t really about technology. But it is about how technology influences the beliefs and behaviors of teens and how parents can connect with their children to influence them positively.” These opening words do a perfect job of explaining what “Screens and Teens” is about—how technology has changed kids today and how parents need to change how they parent as a result. In the book, Koch addresses five lies that today’s teens may believe as a result of technology: I am the center of my own universe; I deserve to be happy all the time; I must have choices; I am my own authority; and Information is all I need so I don’t need teachers.  She then explains a truth to counteract the lie. Parents, be warned: Throughout the book you may recognize mistakes you are making yourself regarding technology and its use. Too often I found myself in the descriptions, realizing changes I needed to make myself before I can help my teen.  I am reading this book as a mom of a 13-year-old son and 12-year-old girl. They don’t have the level of technology use that many of the teens described in the book are experiencing. I believe this book would be helpful for parents of all age kids in this time in our society. It could help parents before there is a problem, and I believe it would be especially helpful to solve problems. There are many ideas in the book I want to implement, including having established quiet times to encourage better processing and thinking, to rejuvenate us when we are stressed.  
lweeks More than 1 year ago
"Screens and Teens" by Dr. Kathy Koch is SO much more than 'just' a book about teenagers and technology. Any parent of any age child should read this book; actually the younger the better! Technology is everywhere and effects everyone. By reading this book, it helped me to understand how technology is effecting me and my teenagers. Dr. Kathy includes a DVD and questions at the end of the book with resources to help parents to help our children navigate through this overwhelming technology that is in every aspect of their lives. She also gives easy to understand pros and cons AND ideas how to parent our kids through this technology generation which is very different than my generation. There are many parenting books and many books about technology but I've NEVER read a book like this before. It's opened doors into my teens' lives and provoked conversations I had not had before I read this book. I am so grateful that Dr. Kathy understood the need and put in many hours of research and bundled it all up into this book!
Mama66 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Kathy’s, Screens and Teens connecting with our kids in a wireless world is a must read for all families with children. No matter what or who you believe in this is a must read. Not all families are alike but all families have technology encroaching on family time. Our children are growing up impatient and wanting to be happy all the time, they think if we buy them the latest technology or the latest iPhone they will be happy. You have even been told “all my friends have fill in the blank__________” this makes connecting with your kids hard, but all the more reason to help them learn to balance technology with their life.   My favorite quote is “Parent power can be stronger than screen power” when sometimes it seems like you are losing the battle Dr. Kathy gives you the tools you need to win that battle with your teens over screens. Believe me with four kids I have plenty of battles and battling for screens is just not one I like very much. I have a 21 year old all the way down to 9 so I have seen the change. Little by little first a new gaming system then cell phones and before you know it your life is surrounded by technology. Televisions became inexpensive and you could have a Screen in every room and now screens in our hands going everywhere with us every second of every day. It’s kind of scary if you really stop and think about it. But there is no need for fear anymore because the book, Screens and Teens connecting with our kids in a wireless world is here to help. With your purchase of this must have book, Dr. Kathy also gives you a website and videos to help you along with your journey finding a balance with your teens and screens. 
Sarah823SP More than 1 year ago
Want to play two truths and a lie with your teens and their screens? Read #screensandteens to help play with some 'we can' statements to help your teens connect to life. It's a book I think we need to read long before our kids our teens, and I also think some of us who love the 21st Century tools and media, may need to read for ourselves.   In the book, Dr. Koch presents five truths we need to be aware of and the lies that we tell to keep up with our wrong thinking.  She explains each one, it's connection to screens, and then shares examples of the truth with simple fixes.   Teens find their purpose, security and identity these days in their social media, and unfortunately so do some adults.  This is the world we are in, and it can seem like it's not going to be an easy fix.  But that's why I loved this book.  We find hope and help to move on!   Dr. Kathy suggests some great ideas, resources, and concepts to help us lead our teens (and maybe even our own minds) toward maturity.   She takes this challenge heartily through the rest of the book!  She gets us to THINK. She gives us a plan for moving on with HOPE and knowing we can overcome. So how do we 'fix' these thoughts in our kids (or our own brains), read Screens and Teens to find out! It's a fast read, easily comprehended, but probably a book I will re-read on occasion, as imparting the truth into even my brain will be a battle of the old vs new nature in my life. I've had the privilege to read an advanced copy of this book, and I was asked to review it, but I have to say, it's a book I will read more than once, I found it helpful, inspiring and practical.  So I'd suggest others purchasing it!! And I wasn't required to give the book a favorable review, this is my own opinion. 
bakerbunch More than 1 year ago
Screens and Teens is a must-read not only for parents of teens, but also for anyone who uses technology. Dr. Koch talks about the positive and negative affects of technology on our society and us. It will encourage and challenge you to purposefully be more engaged with life and set proper boundaries for the wonderful world of technology. Dr. Koch nails the balanced approach and practical solutions that challenge families today. The encouragement to allow ourselves the luxury of boredom—“Boredom cultivates reflection, generates ideas, develops curiosity, increases creativity, and inspires vision. Letting our thoughts wander sparks ideas that might not have been able to surface in the busyness of life.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!  It identifies the true connection problems we have in our wireless world.  It takes a positive approach on how to handle the technologies in our lives; not seeing it as a necessary evil, instead as something that needs boundaries in each of our lives (not just our teens).  I appreciate this book even now as a mom of a three children:  four, six, and eight.   Even though I do not YET have a teen, I would like to be pro-active in helping to set boundaries, and be prepared to teach my children to filter and evaluate the constant stream of information. I found it very encouraging to discover in the book that our teenagers want to change the world.  Dr. Kathy asserts, "Today's teens are ready to be challenged to be who they can be."  My prayer is that parents will pick up this book and use it to help them structure their own technology usage so they in turn can model, teach, and guide the next generation.  Through this, our teenagers WILL change the world for Christ!  Dr. Kathy doesn't leave you with just pie-in-the-sky goals, she walks us through what our teenagers are going through, how we need to help in a general sense, and then very practical and specific things to avoid, and what to model and teach along with scripture.  For instance, our teens need to avoid thinking "God has designed a rigid structure with no individualization."  Instead we need to teach our teens to believe "God has a good plan for me.  He treats me as a unique individual and doesn't use a formula."  Dr. Kathy provides the following scripture list to help illustrate this truth:  Job 10:8-9, Jer. 29:11, and Ps. 139.   May we use Dr. Kathy's words to practically help us apply God's word to technology usage, and shape the next generation for Christ.
GretchenJHP More than 1 year ago
This book is essential reading for anyone who relates to teens or children who have or will have an electronic device (in other words, anyone). Dr. Kathy Koch presents a balanced approach to dealing with technology that doesn’t overemphasize the good aspects or under-emphasize the negative aspects. All of the advice she gives about technology is grounded in the foundation of solid biblical parenting principles that help parents understand their teens’ needs as a person, and which will help them combat the five lies that technology leads teens (and adults) to believe.  The book raises many thought-provoking questions in the reader’s mind and after reading it through once, I plan to go back through the book with the study questions that are found at the end. The book would be excellent study for a book club or small group with other parents. There are also abundant questions at the end of the book that can be adapted by parents for discussion with their teens (and Dr. Kathy gives plenty of guidelines for how to connect rather than interrogate during those conversations.) As a parent of teens, I appreciate the perspective of someone who has interacted with hundreds of teens who are not her own children. I love her consistent encouragement not to give up on parenting and connecting with your teens.  I’m eager to explore the supporting website and watch Dr. Kathy’s video that introduces each chapter which will be accessible with the purchase of the book. 
TVCurtis More than 1 year ago
Such a great book!  Screens and Teens Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World by Dr. Kathy Koch not only gives great insight into the minds of our tech centered children, but also how we can work to engage them in open communication.  I will be honest; I went into reading this book with the assumption that it was going to tell me I was doing everything wrong.  I’m pleased to say I was incorrect about my assumptions. Dr. Kathy does an amazing job at showing us all the things we are doing right in parenting, as well as touching on the many ways we can improve in areas we might be unsure about.  Dr. Kathy offers many great suggestions for ways to unplug our kids from the everyday stresses of technology.  Some examples are: practicing technology-free evenings a few nights a week, teaching our kids to embrace boredom and spark creativity, and taking time to just slow down and restore the family dynamic.  The book also reminded me that my kids want to do great things in this world and it’s my job to guide them in that journey; to help them remember they have a purpose and that they need to take the initiative, with our guidance, to discover who they are and what they have to offer. This book is not a technology-hating book.  Instead, the author goes through the pros and cons of technology use and gives us ways we can help our kids understand there is a great big world outside of their 3-inch screens.  There is a study guide at the end of the book to help you dig down deep and think about what is being said and how you could apply it in your family’s life.  This book has really helped me take a look at my own use of technology, and not just how it affects my kids.  I found myself able to relate to ways I abuse, or overuse, technology as well. I am grateful to Dr. Kathy for sharing her insight on how to take back control and use technology in healthy ways. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To many parents, navigating and setting boundaries in “screen-world” is intimidating. Teens and Screens is a valuable teaching tool on how to do that. It is about how technology influences the personality, beliefs, and behaviors of teens and how parents can connect with them to influence them positively. The book is realistic about the permanent presence of the “screen-world” of smart phones, tablets, gaming, social networking, texting, and streaming video. It is neither a wholesale condemnation of technology, nor widespread promotion of it as the only way to connect with the world. It is about using technology in your family without letting it use you. Teens and Screens nails down WHY we should care about what teens learn in the “screen-world”: They are trying to meet core needs of security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. Unfortunately, what teens also find in are lies that don’t serve them well in real life, such as: • They have unlimited choices. • Consequences can be undone with a swipe or a click. • They don’t need teachers because they have a world of information literally at their fingertips. To move us from why to how, the book offers practical applications: • Help kids identify friendship levels face-to-face. • Teach them how to read body language and facial expressions. • Jumpstart teachable moments with the discussion guide questions. This is a valuable tool for parents and grandparents. Together, we can model the correct use of the tools that children need to thrive both in “screen-world” and the real world.