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How I Scaled Back the Touch Screens, and Up the Human Touch

Learning to Be the Parent, with help from Naomi Schaefer Riley

“It’s not that there is no reason to use technology. It’s that ‘I want them to prioritize human interaction.’”

Stop banning seesaws and start banning Snapchat.” Assuming that phrase makes your ears perk, we are 100% positive that you want to read on. . .

If there’s one smart, practical, motivational gift you can get for yourself that is also a gift for your kids, it’s this book: Be The Parent, Please (BTPP) by Naomi Schaefer Riley. You’ll thank us for the rec, and later (well, way later) your kids will thank you for the “counter-intuitively” tech-savvy parenting.

Written in 2018, this book is relevant now more than ever. Now that the COVID era has us diving headfirst into classrooms via Google Chrome books, after-school activities on Zoom, and FaceTime gatherings with distant family and friends, BTPP is a vital resource to balance the screen time mania.

BTPP is like the Ghost of Christmas Future. . . telling us all the tech-related nightmares we’re in for as our kids get older. Why is this important to read now, at the Primerrily kid age? Naomi takes us through how habits and expectations -- in chronological age and developmental order -- begin in preschool, further solidify throughout elementary school years, and become ingrained in the high school teen years. By the time college and adulthood arrive, it’s as thought tech habits and expectations become the status quo lifestyle. It has me ask myself, “Is that what I wish for my kids?” To help answer that, BTPP’s introduction and preschool- to elementary school-aged chapters are informative and relatively straightforward to translate into “action items.” Later in the read, you’ll notice things get trickier and quite a bit uglier in the “big kid” and teen-oriented parts of the book.