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Be the Parent, Please

Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems

Naomi Schaefer Riley


List Price: 24.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/7/2019)


The tech giants of silicon valley design their products to hook even the most sophisticated adults. Imagine then, the influence these devices have on the developing minds of young people. Touted as tools of the future that kids must master to ensure a job in the new economy, they are in reality the culprits, stealing our children’s attention, making them anxious, agitated, and depressed.

What’s worse, schools across the country are going digital under the assumption that a tablet with a wi-fi connection is what’s lacking in our education system. Add to that the legion of dangers invited by unregulated access to the internet, and it becomes clear that our screen-saturated culture is eroding some of the most important aspects of childhood.

In Be the Parent, Please, former New York Post and Wall Street Journal writer Naomi Schaefer Riley draws from her experience as a mother of three and delves into the latest research on the harmful effects that excessive technology usage has on a child’s intellectual, social, and moral formation. Throughout each chapter, she backs up her discussion with “tough mommy tips”—realistic advice for parents who want to take back control from tech. 

With the alluring array of gadgets, apps, and utopian promises expanding by the day, engulfing more and more of our lives, Be the Parent, Please is both a wakeup call and an indispensable guide for parents who care about the healthy development of their children.

Praise For Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems

Be the Parent, Please is among the sternest of [the]recent books about the dangers of computerized childhood, and perhaps for exactly that reason, it's also the most compelling.” —Joseph Bottom, Washington Free Beacon

“If you’re a parent, you’re probably not going to enjoy reading Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book Be The Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems. But that’s precisely why you should. Riley’s book largely avoids parent shaming, but she does offer some real talk for parents about technology use—from babies to teens. She provides not just the jarring facts, but also suggestions on how to curb use and alleviate parent guilt about depriving our kids of technology, something we have been fooled into believing we need far more than we do.” —Bethany Mandel, Federalist

Be the Parent, Please is one of the most thought-provoking and jarring books I’ve read in a long time. When I finished the book, I literally thought to myself, ‘I wish I’d read this ten years ago!’ Engagingly written and filled with fascinating studies, this important book should be a conversation changer.” —Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package
 “Most parents know the right things to do, but they often lack the courage to do them. Riley’s excellent new book, Be the Parent, Please provides the rationale, research, and encouragement that parents need—to resist the commercial culture that wants to profit from the free time of small children; to shield kids from the vast, unmonitored experiment that is the online life as lived by very young children; to be the parent, and not the enabling pal of their children. This is a book that every parent—and every person who cares about children and childhood—should read. 5 stars.” —Caitlin Flanagan, contributing editor to the Atlantic and author of Girl Land
“Just as it's hard to tell our kids, ‘No snack till dinner’—even when we have a purse full of Pirate's Booty—it's even harder to say, ‘No screen time’ when our smart phone is ringing in our pocket. In this well-researched, non-hectoring book, Riley helps us understand not just why we must ‘Be the Parent’ but actually how to do it.” —Lenore Skenazy, founder of Free-Range Kids
“We need more books like Be the Parent, Please!  Riley gives parents a wakeup call to put healthy boundaries in place when it comes to technology and kids. A must-read for any parent fumbling around in this digital world of parenting.” —Brooke Shannon, founder of Wait Until 8th

Templeton Press, 9781599474823, 264pp.

Publication Date: January 8, 2018

About the Author

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute focusing on issues regarding child welfare as well as a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. Her writings have appeared in theWall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and the Atlantic.