Friday 22 June 2018

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd June 2018 - "Dr Christian's Guide to Growing Up Online" by Dr Christian Jessen (Scholastic)

Our first Book of the Week this week is an absolutely brilliant and essential guide to growing up that encompasses the ever-present information superhighway...
(Hah, I'm sure a few of you still remember when the internet was referred to like that).

For parents whose children are rapidly approaching the age where they start asking for (or are already using) tablets, phones and other means of connecting to the internet, it can sometimes feel like streaking through a minefield. How on earth can you possibly prepare your kids for staying safe in a digital world?

"Dr Christian's Guide to Growing Up Online (Hashtag: Awkward!) is a brilliant addition to Dr Christian's library of awesome self-help books, squarely aimed at C's age group and older.

The book is derived from questions and answers submitted by real kids, thoroughly researched and answered by the amiable TV doc and his hard-working researcher.

We've been looking for a book that specifically talks about the internet, social media and tackles really tricky subjects and this is absolutely perfect for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, Dr Christian takes an entirely different approach to several other self help books we've seen, adding a foreword but dispensing with the ego - ensuring that questions are answered with the focus on the person asking them, rather than wibbling off into some anecdotal example that feels hollow and patronising (ahem, we can think of one particular book that really didn't take that direction at all but let's focus on Dr Christian's book instead!)

Though there's no index as such, there's a very helpful glossary of terms at the back of the book, covering most of the weird and wonderful language that we've come to understand as modern internet users (plus quite a few that we'd never heard of before). So if you have no idea what IRL or TBH means you'll be up to speed in no time at all.

The questions were excellent, and quite frankly they really gave both my wife and I a clear insight into a child's point of view with this stuff, and the sort of questions kids as young as C will already be wrestling with.

Should you arrange to meet people you only know online?

Should you share your social media account passwords with your friends?

What should you do if you get a nasty text message from a number you don't recognise?

There are so many, and they're all brilliantly answered - again with Dr C formulating answers in a really kid-friendly but not patronising way.

We're really interested in checking out the rest of Dr Christian's books now (such as his "Guide to Growing Up") so we'll be keeping an eye out for them.

This is fantastic though and thoroughly recommended for parents and of course also for kids who are taking their first steps online.

"Dr Christian's Guide to Growing Up Online" by Dr Christian Jessen is out now, published by Scholastic (very kindly supplied for review).