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Ctrl+Parent: A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Parenting in the Digital Age



Raising children has become increasingly complex in an era where technology permeates every aspect of our lives. “Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era” by Claude Benson is a timely and essential resource for parents, educators, and caregivers looking to navigate the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the digital age.

Key Aspects of The Book

“Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era” stands out from other parenting books in the digital age due to several unique features:

  • Relatable anecdotes and real-life examples: Throughout the book, readers will find engaging stories and examples that illustrate the challenges and triumphs of digital parenting. These relatable anecdotes help readers connect with the content personally, making the advice more meaningful and memorable.
  • Practical and actionable strategies: “Ctrl+Parent” offers concrete, step-by-step guidance that parents can implement immediately. From setting screen time boundaries to fostering digital literacy skills, readers will find many practical strategies to adapt to their unique family situations.
  • Thought-provoking questions and reflective exercises: The book encourages readers to actively engage with the content by providing thought-provoking questions and reflective exercises. These interactive elements help parents deepen their understanding of the topics and apply the insights to their own parenting practices.
  • Balanced and nuanced perspective: “Ctrl+Parent” offers a balanced and nuanced approach to digital parenting, acknowledging both the benefits and challenges of technology. Readers will appreciate the book’s ability to guide without being overly prescriptive or judgmental, empowering them to make informed decisions that align with their family’s values.
  • Accessible and engaging writing style: The authors of “Ctrl+Parent” have a knack for presenting complex ideas clearly, concisely, and engagingly. Readers will enjoy the book’s conversational tone, which makes the content easy to digest and retain.
  • Comprehensive resource sections: “Ctrl+Parent” includes extensive resource sections at the end of each chapter, providing readers with additional tools, websites, and recommended readings to explore the topics discussed further. These curated resources save parents time and effort in seeking reliable information independently.
  • Positive and empowering tone: Rather than taking a fear-based approach to digital parenting, “Ctrl+Parent” adopts a positive and empowering tone. The book acknowledges the benefits of technology and encourages parents to embrace the opportunities it presents while also providing guidance on navigating the challenges.
  • Emphasis on overall well-being: While many parenting books focus primarily on managing technology use, “Ctrl+Parent” goes beyond this to address the importance of nurturing a child’s overall development and well-being. The book guides fostering essential skills and qualities, such as creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and resilience, which are crucial for success in both the digital and offline worlds.

Benson and His Co-Authors

Benson and his co-authors Charles M. Hutton, Sahm R. Morgan, and Courtney J. Ellis draw upon their diverse expertise in parenting, child development, and digital media to create a comprehensive guide that tackles various topics. From understanding digital literacy and screen time management to fostering creativity, resilience, and real-life connections, “Ctrl+Parent” offers practical strategies and insights to help children thrive in a tech-driven world.

Balanced Approach to Technology

One of the book’s greatest strengths is its balanced approach to technology. Rather than demonizing screens or advocating for a complete digital detox, the authors emphasize the importance of finding a healthy balance between online and offline activities. They provide actionable advice on creating family screen time schedules, setting reasonable boundaries, and promoting mindful technology use. The book empowers parents to guide their children toward responsible and resilient tech habits by framing digital challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

“Ctrl+Parent” also delves into the crucial role of digital literacy in today’s world. The authors offer guidance on teaching children to critically evaluate online information, maintain privacy and safety, and navigate social media responsibly. They emphasize the importance of open communication and modeling positive digital behaviors to help children become conscientious digital citizens.

Real-Life Connections and Social-Emotional Skills in The Digital Age

Another standout aspect of the book is its focus on nurturing real-life connections and social-emotional skills in the digital age. The authors provide practical tips for creating tech-free family time, encouraging outdoor play and nature experiences, and promoting face-to-face interactions. They highlight the value of undistracted, in-person communication in building empathy, emotional intelligence, and meaningful relationships.

Throughout the book, Benson and his co-authors strike a relatable and empathetic tone, acknowledging the challenges and uncertainties of parenting in the digital era. They offer reassurance and support, reminding readers there is no one-size-fits-all approach and encouraging them to adapt the strategies to their unique family needs.


While “Ctrl+Parent” covers a broad range of topics, some readers may find certain sections more relevant to their specific concerns than others. However, the book’s clear organization and engaging writing style make it easy to navigate and find the information most pertinent to one’s parenting journey.

“Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era” Book Excerpts

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book “Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era“:

  1. Balanced screen time isn’t about eliminating technology but about ensuring its benefits without overshadowing other crucial aspects of childhood. Parents, educators, and caregivers play pivotal roles in guiding children toward meaningful digital engagement. By fostering well-rounded habits, we ensure that our children benefit from technology while maintaining strong personal connections and varied interests.

This excerpt nicely summarizes a key message of balancing screen time with offline activities and relationships to support children’s healthy development in a digital world.

  1. Engaging in tech-free quality time together: These screen-free times are not just about limiting technology; they are about filling that space with something more meaningful and enriching. They give us a chance to engage deeply with one another, to laugh, share, and grow together.

I like how this excerpt emphasizes that reducing screen time is not just about restrictions, but about creating opportunities for family bonding and memory-making through shared offline experiences.

  1. When children learn to interpret these digital difficulties as opportunities for growth, they develop a stronger, more confident approach to future challenges… By shifting the focus from immediate success to long-term learning, you help children build a robust foundation for facing future challenges resiliently.

This is an empowering perspective on helping kids build resilience and problem-solving skills by framing tech challenges as learning opportunities rather than just obstacles. It promotes a growth mindset.

  1. Mindfulness enhances the quality of our connections, making interactions more meaningful and fulfilling… By prioritizing face-to-face communication and quality time, we instill values in our children that transcend the ephemeral allure of digital engagements. It teaches them the importance of being present, empathetic, and genuinely interested in the lives of those around them.

This excerpt eloquently captures the long-term social-emotional benefits children gain when we make undistracted, in-person interactions a priority over screen-based communication. It’s about nurturing their ability to be present and form deep human connections.

These excerpts resonate with me because they articulate some of the book’s key themes: finding a healthy technology balance, making space for quality offline family time, building resilience through challenges, and cultivating children’s capacity for meaningful in-person relationships in the digital age. The excerpts are both insightful and elegantly written.

Final Verdict

Overall, “Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era” is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to raise well-rounded, resilient children in the digital age. By offering practical strategies, expert insights, and a compassionate perspective, this book equips parents with the tools they need to embrace the benefits of technology while nurturing the social-emotional skills and real-life connections essential for children’s healthy development. It is a must-read for parents, educators, and caregivers looking to navigate the complexities of parenting in the digital age with confidence and wisdom.

Ctrl+Parent: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Tech Era Kindle Edition
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