GIVEAWAY: Growing Up Social

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Parenting, Social Media, Technology 39 Comments

GrowingUpSocial Kids

Hi Friends!

One of my new bloggy missions is to let you know when I come across new books, CDs, or products that I believe will bless and encourage you. Today’s feature is a brief Q&A session with my beautiful girlfriend, author Arlene Pellicane… and the giveaway is her new book, Growing Up Social, which she co-wrote with #1 New York Times Best Selling author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman.

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How stinking CUTE is this cover?? #LOVEIT ~ NOW… Let’s get right to the good stuff:

Q:What motivated you to write Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World?

My son was born before the iPhone and I remember going to the grocery store with him as a toddler.  We pointed at fruit, looked for the Cheerios box, and I had to teach him how to behave in public.  Today toddlers are too busy on their tablets or their mom’s smart phone in the grocery store to look around.  With technology become more and more integrated in daily life, now more than ever, we have to decide how (and how much) we’re going to use it.  Very quickly, technology has become center stage in many American homes.  Childhood is when a boy or girl’s heart is like wet cement – kids are open to our teaching, love, and guidance.  We don’t want to miss this important window because we are too busy with our technology, or because we are entertaining our children, not training them.

Q: Why is it important that parents buy into the limitation of screens in their own lives?

When you boil it down, kids are going to imitate what their parents do – not necessarily what they say.  In one study at the University of Washington, babies at just 42 minutes were already imitating adults.  When the adult stuck his tongue out, the baby did the same.  Babies grow to become children who watch where a parent focuses attention.  If a parent is constantly checking emails, responding to texts and tweets, and digitally accessible most hours of the day, a child will mirror that by constantly using screens as well.

As adults, we have to become comfortable with calls going to voicemail and texts not being answered at the speed of light.  Most of the time, it’s wiser to play a board game with our kids then to get caught up with social media.

Q: Is there hope out there for the parent who feels that his or her family is already too far gone into the mess of electronic media?

Yes, there is always hope as long as your children live under your roof.  Of course, it is easier to make adjustments when your children are younger.  Instead of coming down hard on your child because she’s watching too much TV, you can actually begin with an apology.  Talk to your child and say something like, “I owe you an apology. I’ve allowed you to do watch unlimited TV and that hasn’t been healthy for you.  I’m sorry about that.  We’re going to gradually make some changes so that you will become a healthier adult.”  Those changes may include a decrease in screen time, an outside play time, a short walk around the block each night to talk, or family reading or game night.

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I’m giving away a copy of Arlene’s new book , Growing Up Social, and it could be yours!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. ANSWER THIS QUESTION: What could less screen time might look like for you or someone you love? You can leave a comment by CLICKING HERE.
#2. Share this post by using one of the social media buttons below.

That’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. This is great stuff!! 


UPDATE:  A winner has been chosen – Congratulations to Julie Kind    YEA!!!!!!

Growing Up Social

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman) and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been featured on the Today Show, Family Life Today, and The 700 Club.  Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.

Visit Arlene at for FREE family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

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Comments 39

  1. This is an important topic. Single children need family time and want to be engaged in an activity with their single parent. The sole focus of their parent’s attention. My grandson wants this a lot from either his mother ( who works two part time jobs ) or his grandmother ( me ). A sense of belonging, focus and love is what he craves.

    1. this web SeniorDateFree (dot) c0M for single parents dating and making friends and really hope can help them rebuild a happy family to bring healthy grown environment for their children

  2. Kids these days don’t have imaginations! They are stuck on phones and tablets or TV’s. All these things are great but, should be limited to an hour or less a day. Whatever amount of time they spend on electronics should also be spent reading the Bible and praying with family or with a parent.

  3. Less Screen time would mean better communication within my household. Less screaming because no one would have ear-buds plugged into their ear and the TV’s would be silent.and phones down so attention would not be distraced.

  4. Less screen time would mean more family time with God, more bible time, praise time, social family or friend time. More one on one communication. Time to give back to the community.

  5. less screen time would mean more time to spend time as a family. family fun time could be Bible study, doing things as a family, to much violence in the world today and they wont be watching all the violence and kids most likely stay out of trouble! especially the games we have in this day and time! less screen time, you can also talk about how each and everybody’s day went and if anyone had a bad day come up with solutions to make it better! My favorite is to do Bible study and Bible games like trivia and for kids they get a surprise for so many questions answered correctly and memory verses of the Bible! Some quiet time with God so we can pay attention to what God is telling us and listen to God, so we can do what God wants us to do and stay in Gods will!

  6. Less screen time would be going out on the porch pr deck in the morning with a cup if coffee and enjoying nature instead of checking in to Facebook for 1-2 hours. It might be listening to the radio instead of watching tv. It could be taking a short walk instead of being on FB.

  7. Less Screen Time is when you sit down with someone and actually have a conversation with someone looking at you– not their next text coming in It would be nice to talk for a change!!

  8. Less screen time….We have our grandchilren every weekend. When they come over they always ask, “can we watch somthing”? or Can I play with your i-phone. Our answer is…
    “lets go out in the back yard and discover somthing”. We play in the water, play in the snow, bring out yard games or just discover somthing in the gardens.
    What a beautiful world God has created for us! We miss too much when our eyes are not on HIM!

  9. Not only would less screen time be good for me as a mom and wife, getting to have eye contact with the ones I love when we “talk”- but it would also mean less tension in our home. This is a topic my husband and I disagree on. Just last night I suggested we set a new rule, all electronics turned off an hour before bed. No more, texting, face time, downloading, surfing… just family time (even if its in front of a tv where we can talk about what we are watching together, maybe share a laugh) or use it as quiet time between God and ourselves. Just unplug that drug and slow down our thoughts, CHOOSE our focus… and my suggestion was met with, “kids will be kids” and a roll of the eyes.

    btw, Gwen your song “Broken into Beautiful” saved my life, and Uncluttered is helping to heal a weary soul. Your music speaks to me like a trusted friend. I listened to both again just this morning when spending time with the Lord, running on a trail here in Colorado where the view is breathtaking. Both the music and the view reminded me of how much our Maker loves me and that God doesn’t make mistakes. < Give 'em Heaven! Lacy

    1. Thanks for your comment Lacy…pray that the Lord will give you a good solution for your husband and you to be on the same page about screen time at night. Be gentle and don’t lose hope – God will make the way!

  10. Less screen time would mean time sharing !
    So often I will be at a function and find everyone so busy posting pictures and not enjoying time with each other!
    I now have found myself guilty of the same thing! Yikes!
    What did I do when there were no computers,cell phones or tablets!
    I do wonder if my grandchildren and their piers will know how to enjoy the company if others ,talking and playing games (not on computers)
    I really would like to begin a cell phone lock out time!
    Phone off, time together!

    1. I know, I have been the one posting photos at events too! I want to be more careful to see with my own eyes, not just through my camera 🙂

  11. Less screen time could make more family fun time. Time to talk to each other without the constant interruption of tweets and texts. It would mean paying better attention to those around you & being able to listen for the voice of God inside of you. I grew up in the 50s & 60s. There was no internet, cell phones, cable, etc. We didn’t eat dinner around the TV. Mom didn’t text us to come at night. In some ways I miss those days. Only 1 telephone (with a party line); one TV that was controlled by mom or dad; playing games outside (not on a game system or computer); using your imagination; looking up facts in an encyclopedia (not wikapedia online); doing homework around the kitchen table; playing tag outside with friends. Things were less complicated and I think kids were more able to be kids, not some version of mini-adults.

  12. It would mean giving the family priority. More interaction and making some really good memories together. Really getting to know each other.

  13. Less screen time would mean not having to interrupt a conversation to look at a text message. It would mean putting the phone away for a period of time during the day. Being unavailable to the world and 100% available for my family.

  14. I wish I could upload pics. Last year when my son came home from college for Christmas break, I found my two teenagers making a tent out of my quilt. They played like little kids. No screens just laughing and crawling around with the dog. Then one night they played board games with their 75 year old grandfather. Less screen time means more time making memories! But I am a social media junkie…. When that same kid spent the summer abroad, I confess, I was more than happy to Skype !

    1. Girl. I’m loving this. My teenagers sometimes do the same thing!! It’s like a childhood throwback moment. 🙂 More memories is pretty much awesome. And I’m all about Skype and tech… the conversation really points to a healthy balance.

  15. Less screen time means more healthy lifestyle for myself and my family. We would be talking about the upcoming day or dreams of the previous night and look at each other. The dogs would have more of the human interaction that they crave.

    1. Congratulations Julie you have been chosen as the winner of this weeks prize drawing for the copy of Arlene’s new book , Growing Up Social. If you will please send an email to my Ministry Director, she will get all of your information so that we can have it sent to you. Blessings! (

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