Title: Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready?
Author: Lyndsay Green
Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers
Paperback, 280 Pages
Cover Price: $19.95
Disclaimer: Clicking on the book cover or title link above will take you to Amazon.ca through our affiliate account. By purchasing this book through our account, you are helping to keep Village Gamer online.
Without a doubt, Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready? by Canadian author, researcher and sociologist Lyndsay Green should be required reading for all parents. While both of my kids are well past their teen years and have been wired for years, this book still contains a lot of important information about one of the greatest challenges on being a parent: communication. I would go so far as to also recommend this book to teachers and caregivers who also play a part in the upbringing of our future generations.
While many of us have the benefit of being wired ourselves, we are dealing with a whole new set of parenting challenges in a medium that our parents didn’t really have to deal with in today’s connected world. I grew up in a world of unlocked doors, neighbours who all knew each other and a community that worked together for the benefit of all. News and gossip was still garnered through the conventional methods of the day – telephone, television, radio, at the store, snail mail or neighbourhood gatherings. There was no Twitter or Facebook, and most of the dangers we kids faced on the streets or at school were up close and personal.
Through the use of shared stories and experiences, Lyndsay Green talks about how technology has changed the face of those dangers and circumstances for our children, and how parents today are dealing with not only prevention, but also support and open communication on levels that work for different family dynamics and situations.
The problems and challenges themselves have not changed – we all had to deal with situations regarding responsibilities, chores, career choices, school, bullying, predators, drugs, drinking and sex. What has changed are the situations surrounding them and how our children are introduced to them and how we deal with them. Technology can be both a blessing and a curse in the world of today’s teens.
Teens Gone Wired is not a stodgy textbook styled how-to book. It is a book of suggestions and a series of conversations on how to set limits, how to communicate in a non-judgemental manner and how to raise socially conscious, net-savvy kids who will (hopefully) have a firm grip on reality. Two very important take-aways from this book is how to turn events and situations into learning experiences as well as recognizing when the need for professional assistance may present itself.
At the end of the day, there will always be times when our kids look upon us as fun-spoiling ogres, but there will also come a time when they realize that we were right. Hopefully that realization will not come at a time when they are mid-crisis or in a dangerous situation. As parents we can only give our children the benefit of our own experiences and the knowledge that they can come to us with any problem when they need help and give them the tools they need, before they need them. The secret is learning how to offer that assistance without making our kids feel like we are issuing a judgement against them.
Teens Gone Wired is full of references for further study and information. At the end of the book in the Websites for Parents section are 26 categories of links to online resources by a comprehensive notes and sources section, where parents can find help on almost any subject. There are also several resources noted within the main text of the book, making it an invaluable jumping-off point in dealing with any situation in which your teen may find him or herself.
In my opinion, the cover price for Teens Gone Wired is a sound investment in the mental and physical well-being of our children and in family values. It is my hope that you will at the least give the book a looking into and see the benefits it can afford you in your daily dealings with your teen.