|Why You Should Stop Policing Your Child’s Screen Time |
I bet you’re tired of fighting with your child when screen time is up and they need to put down their devices. You’ve watched them disengage from life, choosing screens over experiences. The most sustainable and powerful solution I provide in my parenting seminars is this:
Instead of measuring screen time, try tech breaks:
– A tech break is a focused break from technology. It’s a chunk of time- minutes to hours- to engage in friendships, nature, exercise, or creative interests.
-Tech breaks are completely free of technology, so your child is forced to find something else to do. This allows other interests to rise to top priority; once your child re-engages in a non-tech hobby they remember how much they enjoy it.
-Your child will be more cooperative if you collaborate on a specific schedule determined in advance (i.e. 1:00-2:30 pm, Saturdays or weekdays 5:30-7 pm)
What’s the difference between tracking screen time vs. mandating tech breaks? Isn’t this just a matter of semantics?
-Children use numerous devices, concurrently. It’s logistically difficult, if not impossible, to measure actual time interfacing with a screen.
-Parents end up not recording screen time, and the child gets a false sense of how much time they spend using devices, being held accountable for less time than their actual use.
-Parents become the custodian of screen time and the transition periods, off and on devices, are a continual source of conflict between parents and kids.
Won’t my child say, “I’m bored!” and complain incessantly during their tech breaks?
-Tech breaks provide an opportunity for your child to be BORED, aka UNDERSTIMULATED. They aren’t used to this, so it’s initially uncomfortable.
-Tech breaks reduce sensory input, allowing children to have thoughts and feelings about their day, relationships, goals etc. instead of pushing emotions aside, anesthetizing them with technology.
-Digging out the art supplies, or making plans with friends takes effort. Kids need parental support to get into the habit. Tech breaks allow them to learn (through experience) the value of a balanced life.
If you want 2019 to be different, please join me in my February seminar, The Screen Time Solution. You’ll learn how to stop fighting about screens, teach your child self-regulation, and re-connect as a family. We’ll build a family technology plan that is individualized to your concerns and priorities. Feel free to contact me if you have a child who needs support or you have parenting questions at:Lana.Gollyhorn@gmail.com.
|The Screen Time Solution: Less Screen Time, More Life|
Lana Gollyhorn, M.A. Psychotherapist
TUESDAY, February 26, 2019
Hyatt Cherry Creek/Glendale
$65/person, $95/couple or co-parents
|Lana Gollyhorn, M.A.|
Child and Adolescent Therapist
Lana is an astute clinician, with 17+ years of professional experience enhanced by a creative, dynamic, and interactive approach. Specializing in therapy for adolescents, families, and children ages 7+ up, She has been teaching Denver parents how to support healthy family technology use for over 5 years.