A book review – ‘Left to their own devices’ by Katherine Hill
The digital revolution of the past 30 years has presented us with challenges not faced by previous generations. Whilst we must help our children/grandchildren make full use of digital technology, we must find new strategies to safeguard them from potential dangers. This book is subtitled ‘Confident parenting in a world of screens’ and is produced by Care for the Family, and now in its second edition. It’s a book for all parents and grandparents, indeed for anyone who has care and responsibility for children.
The book is written in an easy-to-read style and format, combining the seriousness of the subject with humour, and presenting subject matter with clear paragraph headings, interspersed with some fun cartoons. It covers such topics as: Too Much Screen Time?, Gaming, Social Media, Pornography, Sexting, On-Line Bullying, Grooming, Internet Addiction, and much more. It tackles head-on all the concerns and fears of parents in this current ‘world of screens’, as well as balancing these out with the positive benefits of the digital world.
A major challenge is how to achieve this when children know much more about digital technology than many parents! After setting the scene of what it means to be living in the digital world, subsequent chapters have an end section on What Parents Can Do, which gives some very helpful practical suggestions about strategies that parents can use to safeguard their children. One sentence that really struck me was ‘that our children are only as safe as the least protected of their friends’.
This is a valuable resource for everyone who is concerned for the protection of children in the world we live in today, and can be obtained from careforthefamily.org for £12.99.