In 2015, Common Sense Media performed a survey on youth and media consumption. The results were shocking: the average thirteen to eighteen year old spends around nine hours on their device, consuming media, every day.
This does not include any time related to school or homework. This book opens with this statistic and paints a fearful landscape: one of the great detriment and danger of smartphones and how they are eroding the the qualities of life of a child, ruining their sleep and grades and exposing them to the dangers of the internet. Not all is lost, however, as the author uses this fear-based mongering to show the dangers of a generation being tech dependent instead of tech enabled. It is in this approach that the purpose of this book is to not defame smart devices, but rather point out their use in proper context, as well as help parents and children connect in this new tech world. Thus, the title, there are fifty-two ways to do this, and you’ll have to read the book to find out them all.
“Give your kids opportunities to be the expert and show you how to do something. You’ll both benefit from this bonding time.”
McKee’s writing style is one that is easy to follow. At first, he spoke of different views with equal conviction that it was difficult to know the stance he was taking. Only after being more cognizant of the authors’ own life is one able to understand his position that he takes in this book – one of truly wanting to bond and connect with his kids, regardless of if it involved media or not. His tips are varied, from binge-watching to outdoor bike riding. The goal, however, doesn’t change. This book is definitely one worth taking a look at if you have children that you struggle connecting with. McKee is a professional parent, in some regards, and speaks publicly on the topic of parenting. He aims to connect with his audience and help them connect with their children, and that alone makes this book one worth reading…
Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.