SOURCE: Author Marilyn Randall

Author Marilyn Randall

March 14, 2011 10:08 ET

Making Friends Without Facebook

Children's Book Teaches Kids About Friendships Outside of Cyberspace

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - Back when Marilyn Randall was a kid, she didn't have to send a friend request in order to become someone's friend.

"When I see kids with their heads buried in laptops, or texting on cell phones, it disturbs me to think of how technology has changed the way our kids socialize," said Randall, who has authored a series of children's books on friendships including For Faithful Friends, The Best of Best Friends and Share From the Heart (www.marilynrandall.com). "Our social networks are actually raising our kids to be extremely unsocial. If we allow our kids to learn that all you need to do to make and keep friends is to click 'accept friend request,' then we're devaluing the power of friendship. Conversely, if all they have to do to end a friendship is click on 'block user,' then friendships become easy to discard without a second thought."

Randall's tips for parents who want to help their kids better value their friendships include:

  • Balance Cyberspace with Real Life -- If your kids use social networks, make sure they actually get together with their online friends once a week to do something. Take the time to make your home available, even if their friends simply come over to share a pizza. Help your kids balance cyberspace with the real world.

  • Limit Internet Use -- A generation ago, parents would limit the amount of television they would allow their kids to watch, and monitor what they watched. Place time limits on the time your kids spend online, and monitor which sites they use to chat with their friends.

  • Set An Example -- Show your kids how you interact with your friends, and show them the value those long-term friendships have in your life. If your kids see that you have long-term, close and fulfilling friendships with others, they'll emulate those kinds of relationships in their lives.

"It's ironic how the existence of all these different technologies has managed to make us feel more distant from each other," Randall added. "What we need is to teach our kids to put the computer down, and go outside and play with their friends."

About Marilyn Randall

Marilyn Randall is a retired award-winning veteran graphic artist whose mission is to help restore traditional values to the next generation of children.

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