Michael Gutch is the author of a new picture book, Sticky, Sticky, Stuck, a sweet and silly story about a family that needs to get unstuck from their tablets/computers/phones.
So we decided to ask Mike a few questions about how technology integrates with his family!
What age do you think is too young for a cell phone?
When to give a child a cell phone is a personal decision that each family must carefully consider. For my family, I believe that the appropriate age is around 14 to 15 years old as they enter young adulthood. At younger ages, I believe the cell phone becomes a status symbol and can be a distraction. Excessive texting, not being really present with family and friends, and not learning how to interact face to face in social situations can be a few of the pitfalls.
What’s the best advice you can give parents who have technology obsessed kids?
Lead by example. If your child is asking you a question and your head is buried in an iPhone, they learn from that behavior. As a result, you can’t be surprised when you are out to dinner and they are texting away or playing a game. Not only do you have to lead by example, but I believe you have to establish technology free zones. For example, as a rule we have no electronics at the kitchen table - that includes Mom and Dad. As a parent you are the one in control, not your child. This doesn’t only apply to technology but to everything.
What’s your technological weakness?
The hyperlink. I’ll go to look up a recipe for coleslaw on Google and 45 minutes later I’m reading about how some guy in L.A. floated 16,000 ft. high in a lawn chair using weather balloons. As with any technology, you have to be vigilant about the time spent using it.
What’s your favorite old school board game?
I like to play Monopoly and Trouble with the kids, but playing poker for pennies with the family is my favorite game.
What book do you think every kid should read before age 10?
“Sticky Sticky Stuck” of course! Oh you mean a classic. I’m going with two, first is the ”The Giving Tree.” I know that as an adult reading it to my child that the story has many different messages, but as a child I remembered that the tree was so much like my Mom and it really stuck with me. My second book I think a kid should read before he’s ten is ”Where the Wild things Are.” It was the first book I remember getting lost in and to this day I still like looking at the illustrations.
Learn more about STICKY, STICKY, STUCK, out 6/4/2013