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Raising Generation Tech : Prepare Your Children for a Media-Fueled World - Jim Taylor, Ph.D

Raising Generation Tech

Prepare Your Children for a Media-Fueled World

Paperback Published: 1st August 2012
ISBN: 9781402266768
Number Of Pages: 304

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Today's children are being raised as 'digital natives' in a world dominated by popular culture and technology. TV shows, computers, video games, social networking sites, advertisements, and cell phones too often have an unnecessarily strong-and negative? influence on children. But pulling the plug just isn't an option in a world where being connected is essential for success.

In Raising Generation Tech, noted parenting and new-media expert Dr. Jim Taylor explores how popular culture and technology shape children's lives. The essential message from Raising Generation Tech is that excessive or unguided exposure to popular culture and technology is not good for children. Rather than offering the usual 'end of days' scenario, Dr. Taylor offers a balanced and optimistic perspective that offers parents insights and practical information they need to ensure that popular culture and technology are tools that benefit their children rather than weapons that hurt them.

Six Messages From Raising Generation Tech:

  • Popular culture may be the powerful influence on children today and most of that influence is not healthy to children.
  • Children are being exposed to technology earlier than ever without proper limits or guidance.
  • Excessive exposure to popular culture and technology has been linked to many childhood problems including shorter attention spans, lower grades in school, increased sexual activity and drug use, and obesity.
  • Too early and unguided immersion in popular culture and technology will actually hinder rather than better prepare children for life in the digital world.
  • Key areas in which parents should focus their child-rearing attention include their children's self-identity, values, thinking, relationships, and physical and mental health.
  • The goal for parents is not to disconnect their children, but rather to expose them to popular culture and technology when they are developmentally ready and then give them the perspectives, attitudes, and tools they need to thrive in this digital age.

"Raising Generation Tech argues convincingly that children should be raised by their parents, not by popular culture or technology. Dr. Taylor tackles this difficult task with state-of-the-art psychological theory, the latest research, engaging anecdotes, and a healthy dose of sensitivity and humor. Raising Generation Tech is a must read for parents who want their children to thrive in this media-fueled world (which means all parents!). Larry Rosen, Ph.D., author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us

"Raising Generation Tech will be an eye opener for parents! Rather than offering the usual 'end of the world' scenario, Dr. Jim Taylor offers a balanced perspective that gives parents the insights and practical information they need to ensure that popular culture and technology are tools that benefit their children rather than weapons that harm them." Michele Borba, Ed.D., TODAY show contributor and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

"The essential message of Raising Generation Tech is that excessive or unguided exposure to popular culture and technology is not good for children. In today's world, parents can't just sit back and play defense. Dr. Jim Taylor empowers parents to prepare their children for life in this digital age." Michelle LaRowe, Author of A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists,Working Mom's 411 and the Nanny to the Rescue! parenting series

About the Author

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., Psychology, has consulted with young people, parents, and educators for more than 27 years. He has been a speaker at hundreds of elementary and secondary schools, education associations, youth-sports programs, and performing-arts organizations around the world. Jim is the author of 14 books, four of which are parenting books including Positive Pushing: How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child, Your Children are Under Attack: How Popular Culture is Destroying Your Kids' Values, and How You Can Protect Them, Your Children are Listening: 9 Messages They Need to Hear from You, and, now, Raising Generation Tech: Prepare Your Children for a Media-fueled World. Jim lives north of San Francisco with his wife, Sarah, and his daughters, Catie and Gracie.

Introduction

Our children are growing up in a world that is vastly different from the one in which we were raised. Economically, politically, socially, culturally, and technologically, the world that we live in hardly resembles the world of just a few decades ago. Consider this: Facebook and text messaging, two of the most popular and powerful forces in the lives of young people today, didn’t even exist ten years ago. The Internet itself has only been in widespread use for around fifteen years.

The vast changes that we have observed over the past few decades are certainly unsettling for us “digital immigrants.” We may worry about what the world will look like in the coming years and long for a simpler and slower time (although the “good old days” were probably not as good as we remember them). At the same time, for our children - the “digital natives” - this crazy new world is neither crazy nor new; it’s just their world, and it’s filled with excitement and possibilities. Regardless of where you are standing, one thing is certain: there is no going back. Technology is an inexorable force that can’t be stopped, nor should we want it to be.

People, however, haven’t changed much. Despite the immense changes that have transpired throughout time, we humans are little different from our ancestors of thousands of years ago. That seemingly obvious fact may no longer be fact from here on in. New technology is altering us as individuals, changing our brain development and functioning, and as a society, reweaving the social and cultural webs (no pun intended) that encircle our lives.

The challenge for us as parents is to ensure that these dramatic changes help foster a better world for our children and that our children are well equipped to master the increasingly complex world that they will inhabit. This challenge is no small matter. As the visionary educator and philosopher Marshall McLuhan said almost half a century ago, “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.” That sentiment predated computers, mobile phones, and the Internet. As if looking into a crystal ball, McLuhan saw the future. For us and especially for our children, that future is now.

The speed at which technological advancement is occurring is so breakneck that we have little time to consider the implications of each new development before the latest technology takes root in our collective psyches. Only looking in our rearview mirror can we begin to understand how these new technologies have altered the way we think, the way we connect, and ultimately who we are. Only then are we able to judge whether those changes are beneficial or detrimental, but by then, it’s too late to undo the changes. The relentless pace of innovation forces us to play a constant game of catch-up that we have little chance of winning.

As someone who has serious concerns about the influence of technology on children (and on all of us), I’ll admit that I may sound like Chicken Little. Calls of “The sky is falling” have been heard throughout the history of technological advancement, for example, with the introduction of writing during the Bronze Age and the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. Yet, in most of these cases, these game changers have been boons to humanity rather than the end of days that those Chicken Littles predicted. Plus, we as humans have shown ourselves to be remarkably adaptable creatures who can readily adjust to the variety of changes with which we’ve been confronted.

The essential question is whether this pattern of Chicken Little reactions to technological changes is an appropriate response or whether simple acceptance of the inevitable is perfectly reasonable. If the metaphor holds true to form, then I would argue that, given the poor track record of calls about the end of the world, Chicken Little should be kept in his coop. At the other end of the continuum, though, blithe submission also seems misguided, particularly given the growing body of research showing that technology can have a negative impact on our lives. As with most things in life, the best answer usually lies somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.

With this book, we can draw some compelling conclusions from emerging research and from what we see occurring before our very eyes. My intention is not to act as Chicken Little but rather to sound an alarm. My goal is not to repel technology; it’s to help you use technology and the culture it creates to your children’s greatest advantage.
Introductionp. 1
This Crazy New Worldp. 23
Popular Culture Todayp. 25
Technology Todayp. 33
Setting Defaults in Your Childrenp. 53
An Unmediated Life Worth Livingp. 63
Protect and Prepare Your Childrenp. 73
Self-Identity: Who Are They?p. 75
Values: What Do Your Children Believe?p. 93
Thinking: What's on Their Minds?p. 117
Relationships: How Connected Are They?p. 145
Health: Use It or Lose It?p. 167
Life: What's It All Mean?p. 189
The Hard Work and the Payoffp. 207
Do the Job You Signed Up Forp. 209
Meet Your Kids 3.0p. 231
Afterwordp. 255
Referencesp. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. 277
Indexp. 279
About the Authorp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781402266768
ISBN-10: 1402266766
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st August 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 14.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.32