Understanding Children’s Screen Time: Books for Parents and Professionals

Children’s screen time is a major mental and physical health concern for parents.  As a result, childcare professionals including pediatricians, child psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers, family health specialists, and educators are often questioned about the impact of screen time on children. For clinicians who would like to read the basic research on this topic, you can find summaries in our clinician’s section of LearningWorks for Kids. However, much of the research is dry and not well suited to informing parents about strategies that they might use to enhance learning from screen time or how to set effective limits. Our team has compiled a list of recent books on screen time that provide ideas, insights and perspectives into children’s digital media engagement.  We have provided descriptions from Amazon.com to help you in searching for a book. If you have other recommendations for books on screen time, please put them into our comments section so we can update this listing.

The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life by Anya Kamenetz, PublicAffairs, 2018. From Amazon, “This brief but powerful dictum forms the backbone of a philosophy that will help parents moderate technology in their children’s lives, curb their own anxiety, and create room for a happy, healthy family life with and without screens.”

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter, Penguin Books, 2018. From Amazon, “In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible.”

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT Press) by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, MIT Press, 2016. From Amazon, “Gazzaley and Rosen offer practical strategies, backed by science, to fight distraction.”

Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids – and How to Break the Trance by Nick Kardaras, St. Martin’s Press, 2016. From Amazon, “In Glow Kids, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras will examine how technology―more specifically, age-inappropriate screen tech, with all of its glowing ubiquity―has profoundly affected the brains of an entire generation.”

Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner, Bibliomotion, 2016. From Amazon, “Screenwise helps parents recognize that the social wisdom they have gained throughout their lives is a relevant and urgently needed supplement to their kids digital savvy. These skills can help set kids up for a lifetime of success in a world fueled by technology.”

Digital Kids: How to Balance Screen Time, and Why it Matters by Martin Kutscher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016. From Amazon, “Martin L. Kutscher, MD analyses neurological, psychological and educational research and draws on his own experience to show when Internet use stops being a good thing and starts to become excessive.”

The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World by Nancy Colier, Sounds True, 2016. From Amazon, “With The Power of Off, Colier sounds the call for wakefulness, reminding us that we can use technology in a way that promotes, rather than detracts from, our well-being. This book provides an essential resource for anyone wanting to create a more empowered relationship with technology in the digital age.”

Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield, Random House, 2015. From Amazon, “Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.”

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson, Riverheads Books, 1st Edition, 2016. From Amazon, “In Wonderland, Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.”

A Parent’s Guide to Video Games: The essential guide to understanding how video games impact your child’s physical, social, and psychological well-being by Rachel Kowert, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016. From AmazonA Parent’s Guide to Video Games was developed specifically to help parents better understand if, how, and why video game play can impact a child’s physical, social, and psychological well-being.”

Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World by Kathy Kotch, Moody Publishers, 2015. From Amazon, “In Screens and Teens, Dr. Kathy helps you make sense of [the effects of screen time] and empowers you to respond. [Exposing] the lies that technology can teach your teen.”

Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time by Victoria Dunckley, New World Library, 2015. From Amazon,Dr. Dunckley provides hope for parents who feel that their child has been misdiagnosed or inappropriately medicated, by presenting an alternative explanation for their child’s difficulties and a concrete plan for treating them.”

The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter by Greg Toppo, St. Martin’s Press, 2015. From Amazon, “Greg Toppo’s The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners.”

Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People who Play Them by Jamie Madigan, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. From Amazon, “This book offers something unique to the millions of people who play or design games: how to use an understanding of psychology to be a better part of their gaming communities, to avoid being manipulated when they shop and play, and to get the most enjoyment out of playing games.”

Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Balancing Your Child’s Use of Technology by Lucy Jo Palladino, Shambhala, 2015. From Amazon, “Parents will learn the best practices to guide children to understand and control their attention—and to recognize and resist when their attention is being snatched This approach can be modified for kids of all ages.”

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chaplan and Arlene Pellicane, Northfield Publishing, 2014. From Amazon, “In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the tools you need to make positive changes . . . starting today. Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an overdependence on screens.”

Screen-Smart Parenting: How to Find Balance and Benefit in Your Child’s Use of Social Media, Apps, and Digital Devices by Jodi Gold, A Division of Guilford Publications, Inc, 2014. From Amazon, “Dr. Gold weaves together scientific knowledge and everyday practical advice to help you foster your child’s healthy relationship to technology, from birth to the teen years.”

The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age by Lynn Schofield Clark, The Oxford University Press, 2014. From Amazon, “The Parent App is more than an advice manual. As Clark admits, technology changes too rapidly for that. Rather, she puts parenting in context, exploring the meaning of media challenges and the consequences of our responses-for our lives as family members and as members of society.”

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning by Chip Donohue, Routledge, 2014. From Amazon, “Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years offers early childhood teacher educators, professional development providers, and early childhood educators in pre-service, in-service, and continuing education settings a thought-provoking guide to effective, appropriate, and intentional use of technology with young children.”

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age  by Catherine Steiner-Adair and Teresa H. Barker, Harper Publications, 2013.From Amazon, Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice that can help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their living rooms.”

Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age by James P. Steyer, Scriber, 2012. From Amazon, “A smart, urgently needed book that helps parents and their kids navigate today’s online landscape—from the founder and CEO of the nation’s leading authority on kids and the media.”

Unplug Your Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, Active and Well-Adjusted Children

in the Digital Age  by David Dutwin, Adams Media, 2009. From Amazon, In this book, parent and scholar David Dutwin, Ph.D., shows parents everywhere how to cut the digital cord and free their children to play and learn the old-fashioned way – actively!”

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly by Nancy Willard, Jossey Bass, 2007. From Amazon “In Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens, Willard shows [how strategies] can be translated from the real world to the cyber world, [without having to learn] advanced computer skills to put them into effect.”

Alter, A. (2018). Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Barker, T., Steiner- Adair, C. (2013). The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. New York, NY: Harper Publishing.

Chapman, G., Pellicane, A. (2014). Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing.

Clark, L., S. (2014). The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Colier, N. (2016). The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

Donohue, C. (2014). Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC: Routledge.

Dunckley, V. (2015). Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time. Novato, CA: New World Library.

Dutwin, D.(2009). Unplug Your Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, Active and Well-Adjusted Children in the Digital Age. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Gazzaley, A., Rosen, L. D. (2016). The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT Press). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gold, J. (2014). Screen-Smart Parenting: How to Find Balance and Benefit in Your Child’s Use of Social Media, Apps, and Digital Devices. New York, NY: A Division of Guilford Publications, Inc.

Greenfield, S. (2015). Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our            Brains. New York, NY: Random House.

Heitner, D. (2016). Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World. New York, NY: Bibliomotion.

Johnson, S. (2016). Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World. New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 1st Edition.

Kamenetz, A. (2018). The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life. New York, NY: Public Affairs.

Kardaras, N. (2016). Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids – and How to Break the Trance. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Kotch, K. (2015). Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Kowert, R. A Parent’s Guide to Video Games: The essential guide to understanding how video games impact your child’s physical, social, and psychological well-being.  South Carolina: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Kutscher, M. (2016). Digital Kids: How to Balance Screen Time, and Why it Matters. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Madigan, J. (2015). Getting Gamers: The psychology of video games and their impact on the people who play them. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Palladino, L. J., (2015). Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Balancing Your Child’s Use of Technology. Boulder, CO: Shambhala

Steyer, J. P., & Clinton, C. (2012). Talking back to Facebook the common sense guide to raising kids in the digital age. New York, NY: Scribner.

Toppo, G. (2015). The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Willard, N. E. (2007). Cyber-safe kids, cyber-savvy teens: Helping young people learn to use the internet safely and responsibly. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

 

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