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Conversations with My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age
Parenting in the digital age has never been tougher. It seems the world is changing around us at an ever-increasing speed with new technology, massive amounts of information, and new dangers lurking everywhere. At school and in our communities our kids are talking about BIG topics and they have questions. Whether it is about technology, racism, feminism, LGBTQI issues, social media, the environment, terrorism, or whatever, it’s time for us as caring adults to combine our wisdom and their savvy to strengthen and empower one another. Comprised of five sections (Technology, The World Around Us, Relationships, Self-Improvement, and Deeper Topics) with 30 unique topics, Conversations gives you the words and handy discussion questions to have meaningful talks about the real issues of the day. Addressing tough topics on an ongoing basis strengthens kids, brings you closer together, and opens the door when your kids need to tell you something REALLY important.
Reviews
Alexander (How to Talk to Your Kids about Pornography), Bergman, and Webb offer an informative resource for parents looking for positive ways to discuss important and often difficult topics with kids of all ages. This helpful guide is broken into five main topics: technology, “the world around us,” relationships, self-improvement, and “deeper topics” (integrity, spirituality, and death, to name a few). Alexander and Bergman address more difficult subjects, like online pornography and racism, as well as easier but no less important themes such as standing up for others, healthy sexuality, and money management. Each focus area is broken down into a portion suitable for adults seeking advice, followed by discussion questions to help broach the subject with youth. Suggestions range from projects that can be done at home, such as role-playing various situations, to those involving the larger world, including volunteering or picking up trash.

The authors take into consideration how issues should be discussed for varying ages and include discussion points to use with younger children, in addition to separate conversation notes for older kids and teens. With sound and easy-to-follow advice, along with well-written activities that are not too challenging for kids and adults to do together, families can individualize concepts according to need. Innovative activities—for example, creating “a petition on Change.org to create a crosswalk for a busy street, add a playground to a park... or any other project you feel will create positive change in your local community”—stimulate learners of all ages to put the handbook’s ideas into practice. The authors incorporate citations and additional resources at the end of each section and a detailed glossary to answer any questions that arise after reading the material.

Jera Mehrdad’s illustrations are colorful and well-laid-out, breaking up text effectively for easy reading and holding both kids’ and adults’ attention. Creative elements highlight the topics at hand, such as the crowns used as bullet points and decorated, framed quotes that appear in relevant sections. The solid base of educational recommendations, combined with thought-provoking concepts and artistic design features, will keep readers engaged with this enjoyable and informative handbook.

Takeaway: Parents looking for advice on how to discuss tough topics with children and teens will appreciate this engaging, educational guide.

Great for fans of: Elizabeth A. Sautter’s Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick!, Richard Heyman’s We Need to Talk.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

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