Book nook: Look Up From Your Phone So I Can Love You

Book nook: Look Up From Your Phone So I Can Love You

Nicole Balza

The back cover of Look Up From Your Phone So I Can Love You by Amy Vannieuwenhoven says that the book is “an interactive journal that helps parents communicate with their grade school and high school children about smartphone usage and genuine connection.” My 12-year-old daughter Julia and I worked through the journal, and we found it to be that and so much more.

Although Julia doesn’t have a smartphone yet, the journal was a great tool for her and me to learn more about each other. More than half of the book has nothing to do with smartphones, and the part that does can be easily translated to other electronic devices (for example, Julia has an iPad). Vannieuwenhoven has a relatable writing style—Julia loved her use of emojis and her sense of humor—and she’s found a great format to help parents with a relevant topic.

Most children yearn to spend meaningful time with their parents—whether they’re willing to admit it or not. This book helps parents and children share important details of their life with one another in a safe space—the journal. It helps build a foundation for a solid relationship with one another. It also helps equip children to have the responsibility of using a smartphone.

Finally, Vannieuwenhoven weaves God’s Word throughout the journal. She shares Scripture, statistics, and advice, all with a casual tone. I hope that many parents and their children work through this journal together and find it to be the blessing that Julia and I did.

Author: Nicole Balza
Volume 106, Number 2
Issue: February 2019

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Nicole Balza

Nicole Balza finds her greatest joy as a writer to be . . . editing the work of other writers. Helping an author take her writing to the next level is a thrill. Preserving an author’s voice but improving his final product is a balancing act, but it’s one that she relishes. Nicole began working for WELS Communication Services full time in 1999 and has continued that work part time since 2006. Writing, editing, serving as the host of a bi-weekly newsmagazine—there’s plenty of variety and never time to be bored. Plus, she has a front-row seat to the synod’s neatest ministry stories. Nicole also manages Forward in Christ magazine’s parenting column, Parent conversations, and the magazine’s website. She and her husband, Rob, live in Germantown, Wis., with their three children.
Nicole Balza



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