You can also download a pdf version of this guide.

Discussion Guide For Parents*

1.  The book discusses the challenges parents face in raising teens today. Some of the issues, such as cyber-bullying and sexting, are unique to the digital world. In addition, the book covers issues we recognize from our teen years. How do the issues raised reflect your own concerns?

2.  The author suggests we help our teens learn to take control of digital technology, rather than letting it control them. Technology, like food, is an essential part of daily life, and we can’t give it up entirely. So we need to help our teens develop self-regulation and learn moderation and controlled use. The author and the parents she quotes offer many tips and techniques. Which of the strategies did you find useful/not useful? Please share any others that you have tried that have been successful/not successful.

3.  The book emphasizes the importance of staying connected with our teens and technology can make this both easier and harder. The author explores the differences between texting and communicating but both have their place. How does technology both help and hinder your connection with your teen? Which tips in the book will be useful for you?

4.  As parents we are modeling digital behavior. What examples are we setting and what lessons are we teaching? Has your digital behavior changed as a result of reading the book?

5.  The technology and the socio-cultural environment are changing so fast we find it hard to keep up. Teens have always been very good at making parents feel they’re out of it. So it’s easy to feel intimidated by the world our teens inhabit and to feel we lack the expertise to parent effectively. Did the book give you more confidence in your parenting ability and, if so, how?

6.  It can be hard to tell when our teen’s interaction with technology, or their behavior in general, becomes unhealthy. The author has structured  the book as a series of fine lines to acknowledge this dilemma. These fine lines move from day to day for our teen and vary for each of our children. Give an example of where the book does (or does not) give you more confidence in making those judgment calls?

7.  The author quotes a friend as saying “I feel really unlucky to be raising teens in this day and age.” The author acknowledges the challenges but hopes to convince the reader that, on the contrary, parents are lucky to be parenting in this era. How do you feel about raising teens in this era?

8.  The author has combined a number of writing techniques including her own personal stories, stories from other parents, research findings and resources.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach?

9.  The author has provided a number of online resources. If you have had a chance to review one, please share your impression of the value of the site.

*This Discussion Guide was prepared by Lyndsay Green in collaboration with the School Council (PTA) of Central Technical School with special thanks to the two dozen Book Club participants and the CTS School Council Executive: Hilarie Klapman - Chair, Maria Russell - Secretary, Joy Brickell - CTS School Council Past-Chair and organizer of the book talk, Fatima Ferreira -Treasurer, as well as Sheryl Freeman - CTS Principal and Karen Falconer - TDSB Superintendent of Schools.