Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Plugged-In Parenting by Bob Waliszewski

As a child, I never understood why my parents cared so much about what music I listened to or the shows I was allowed to watch. Now that I’m a parent myself, I get it.

For me, Bob Waliszewski’s Plugged-In Parenting has particular resonance as my wife and I are in the process of creating a playlist of all the music on our computer that is “safe” for our kids’ ears. The boys are less than 3 years old, but we’ve already started to see the impact of media on them. As we’ve been putting it together, we talk about whether just music with cursing or graphic sexuality is out or if we should exclude any music that has lyrical content that we don’t agree with. What’s horrifying about it to me is how much of our music doesn’t make our cut.

The Twitter² Summary:

Bob Waliszewski’s Plugged-In Parenting asks parents if they are plugged-in to what your kids are reading, watching, listening to, viewing online, or playing these days? Or are they plugged-in all the time while you are tuned out? Waliszewski hopes it is the former.

The Low-down:
Bob Waliszewski is the director of Plugged In Online, a site that covers current media with reviews and other tools for parents. His book, Plugged In Parenting, attempts to help parents chart a course of media discernment. What I most appreciate about Waliszewski’s book is that it doesn’t present media as inherently evil. Sadly, this is rare in current discussions of media by many Christians.

Waliszewski divides Plugged In Parenting into three sections: 1-Deciding Where you Stand as a Parent, 2-Making Rules without Making Enemies, and 3-Keeping the Peace and Passing it On. The overarching principles that Waliszewski focuses on are easily applicable for parents to use in guiding their day-to-day decisions. This will allow Plugged In Parenting to hold up longer than other media guides that focus on specific examples. It also creates space for parents with a wide range of sensitivities to embrace the principles in the book.

Plugged In Parenting is a worthwhile read for parents of kids at any age. It can help you develop media discernment for yourself and encourage that development in your children.

The Rating:
4 of 5 Stars (An interesting book that kept me turning the pages.)

The Links:

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Focus on the Family. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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