Publisher: Rupa Publications
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Here’s the thing. In this literary kalyug, which working person, parent or not, has the time to read a parenting book of 180 pages? Reviewers, that’s who. Lucky us, huh? 😉
What’s the book about?
Well, the title gives it away – it’s about how the average hapless parent can pretend to be on top of this whole information-at-the-touch-of-a-button thing. How they can avoid their net-savvy offspring’s pity/scorn/amazement/ridicule when those little snots realise that they themselves are way ahead of their parents in net smarts.
No, seriously, what is the book about?
Everything that you as a parent worry vaguely about but didn’t know whom to ask. How does technology use affect the developing brain? How much net usage is ok? What if I put a blanket ban on smartphone usage until my kid is 25? What is my kid up to, sitting up late at night on the laptop, which he switches off the moment he sees me approaching? How do I prevent my child getting cyberbullied? How do I prevent her from cyberbullying others? What if my child’s identity gets hijacked online?
There’s even a chapter called ‘Impact on the Soul.’ Well.
So, should you read it?
The answer to this is a resounding YES. No matter how smart and tech-savvy you think you are, the average kid is a GENIUS at being a kid – which means that s/he will get into scrapes when you least expect it. They’ll google ‘pussy’ because they want to see pictures of kittens. They’ll tell their friends, all 689 of them, that you’re all going on a vacation for 2 weeks, which would be a nice bit of info for the friendly neighbourhood burglar should he get his hands on it. They’ll put up their photographs online, where someone could get hold of them and stick it on top of some else’s body. You know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, your kids may not.
I know 3-year-olds who grab Mummy or Daddy’s smartphones, unlock them, navigate to the browser and start playing games. These kids need protection and guidance to navigate the murky cyberwaters safely and effectively – after all, some day they will need to use the net to search for information for that project report their teacher assigned them. Make sure they know how to do that the right way.
Like anything else published in print form about the Internet, this book could soon be dated, simply because technology evolves so fast – that’s the nature of the beast! So while the generic stuff might still hold true, some specifics might change, depending on which new social media site captures the public fancy. Reading the book is a pretty good first step… but this is a race for which you need to be in continuous training. Still, this is one parenting book that you should give a try – it’s easy and engaging to read while giving you valuable tips.
Want to know more about the author? Here you go. If you want to check out some more books on parenting net-savvy children, try How to Protect Your Children on the Internet and iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing up. For a quick article on internet safety for children, read this.