But It's Just A Game

 Today I'm excited to join a bunch of blogging friends over at 
Laura Candler's Corkboard Connections 
to showcase Julia Cook's social-skills picture books.
Thank you, Laura, for putting Julia's work in the spotlight!

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Julia in St. Louis this summer; she was there to keynote at the CharacterPlus conference. Just look at how adorable she and her sidekick are. Dressed in her Seuss-striped PJs, Julia rode in on a unicycle playing a accordion. Quite an unforgettable entrance. 

That evening, she was so excited to read her latest manuscript about video gaming to our friend Laurel and me. And we were mesmerized.

It was this title with a topic about a 21st-century addiction that 
totally pushes my buttons, so to speak.
Prepare to be WoWed by But It's Just A Game.

Click this graphic for more information and/or to buy it.

This story features Jasper Thumbs, a young boy who just can't put his technology down. The part that struck a chord with me was that he's the king of his universe when he's playing. The feeling of being in control of something, anything, in a world that can often be very chaotic and out-of-control has sucked him in ...
and it won't let him go.

Another Julia Cook book that tackles a tough issue that's 
just. so. real.
She challenges her readers to discern between 
a game controller and a life controller.

Click {here} for a sneak peek from her publisher at National Center For Youth Issues. (Just FYI; NCYI President Robert Rabon and his wife Beth are the nicest and most generous people you'll ever want to meet.)

According to a U.S. News post, kids are spending up to 22.5 hours per week on their video games and are falling prey to what experts are calling pathological video gaming. And though we're not always sure which comes first, the propensity to a disorder or the game itself, these students often show serious symptoms of 
impulsivity, anxiety and depression. 

Strategies on what to do to keep this from happening to your family are included in the "Tips from Tip" section at the end of Julia's book. Kim "Tip" Frank is an expert on addictions who also wrote the forward to this book; his latest title, Lost and Found, addresses rescuing our kids from video game addictions and reclaiming them as our own.

Some of the things we've done with our three include housing the computer in the living room, setting a timer and limiting screen time to thirty-minute blocks of time, pulling out jigsaw puzzles and sitting down with our children to put them together ... together. Providing that replacement behavior is key to prevention!

Read what Julia has to say about this timely topic
in a guest post she did for Moms Everyday {here}.

I haven't had an opportunity yet to share this title with my students, I can totally see using it to help them switch places with Thumbs and then transfer that concern back to their situation. Empathy can be a powerful antidote.

Recently I've drawn an uncanny parallel between the kids at our school who come to talk about impulse control with the me and the ones who seem sucked into the world of games like Minecraft. So I checked out that game on Focus on the Family's Plugged In and, sure enough, it's got an addictive quality. 
Click {here} for that review and information.

Then check out But It's Just A Game by Julia Cook; 
I enthusiastically recommend it.

Need more information on the issue of too much screen time?

Are you raising Digitally Healthy Children? Click {here} to take the Parents magazine quiz.
Click {here} to see what the Mayo Clinic has to say about monitoring and limiting screen time.
Then see how Teach Mama deals with screen time {here}.
And {here} to see how screen time affects early childhood?
And now, there's actually a diagnosis called 
Internet and Computer Addiction.

Here's hoping you can limit screen time without scream time!

1 comment:

  1. Whew! That video game stuff is really a monster! I don't get it myself, but I do see it. I'll have to check out this book. Thanks for sharing!


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