Are your kids are moody or angry when they can’t look at their screens?
A parenting course or coaching may be able to help. It’s hard to be a parent when your kids have more screen time than parent time. At first, the screens – TV or phones and tablets – seem so very useful and handy! The kids jump at the chance to watch them, and we parents can “get some things done” while they are out of our hair. The screens are like having another person in the family dynamic, one who is like having an inexpensive and always-available nanny!
There’s a darker side to it, though. The more time the kids spend on the screens, the more the kids want to spend time on them… And less time with us. Or with any other people. This “screens-nanny” distracts our kids, encouraging them to only look at them, and making our kids difficult and crabby, to put it mildly. If you knew ahead of time what the screens-nanny would do, this is probably the last invisible family member you’d want in your home.
This is a look at some of the problems with screens for any of us, but especially for kids. If you are a parent and have concerns or questions, this information may be helpful.
Do You Wish You Knew How To Limit Your Child’s Screen Time Without Them Becoming Angry and Withdrawn?
You’re not alone. This problem is growing across the United States. Two-thirds of all parents say their children spend too much time online… and 54% of their children agree, saying they also think they spend too much time online. Teens spend twice as much time on their devices as they do talking to parents each day. In America, teens spend nearly half the time they are awake looking at screens of some sort. 1 And these statistics were before the coronavirus and COVID-19 when we are all spending more time on video and screens!
“But Wait… What is ‘Screen Time,’ Really?”
“Screen time” is a blanket term for any time spent with the eyes focused on a screen of any sort. This includes television, computer, tablet, phone, e-reader, or any electronic image screen. We used to mean watching TV when saying “screen time,” but these days, televisions are only part of it. Now, we have mobile phones, computer monitors, and televisions in every location, laptops, and tablets all around – and many schools even giving iPads and Chromebooks to students for in-school class time use, and requiring assignments at home to be done on a computer. In our worlds now, screens are almost everywhere we are – and where our kids are, too!
How Can Parents Limit Screen Time?
Maybe you’ve tried taking away your kids’ devices, or to cut them off at a certain number of hours, and then tell them that’s all they get. You might have found that the kids just get resentful and sneak ways to get their eyes on screens, anyway. And you might have decided that it was just easier to let them have their screen time. But it doesn’t solve any problems.
There’s good news, though. There are ways you can create stronger ways of managing time and activities as a family. Good parenting coaching with a thoughtful approach to your family’s dynamics will make the process easier. This will create stronger relationship bonds and healthy habits for your children.
The “Screen Time to Family Time” Parenting Course Can Help
As my child grows up in our home, we have learned that there are definite limits on screen time for our child. My background has given me some insight into what seems to be going on in our child’s mind and brain. After discussing this with friends and colleagues, I began looking at the problems and solutions available to all families. You don’t necessarily need to be a specialist of any sort, or go through hard “negotiations” with your children before you see your kids spending less time on devices and being more present with you in your home.
We will cover what the research and science say is going on when they suddenly become ultra-feisty or super-mopey. Knowing the science helps to help put in perspective what our little angels are going through. This will also give clarity about the new directions you take while in the class and program. Using the principle that what we focus on, we get more of – we will focus on strengths! We will focus on what is working well in your family. You and I will work together to emphasize these areas to acknowledge and appreciate, to be sure to honor and build on them. You start from a position of strength – and growth.
You’ll also learn what works from others, as you and your group share your results from your visions and changes you make to create your life. The smallest changes can make the deepest impacts, and those sorts of changes are the ones you may not have thought of, without the new perspective of the classes or coaching.
Change Together For The Better
For your changes to stick and work, long-term, you’ll need “buy-in” from all family members involved, including your children. In the parenting courses, we will cover how you can talk with them about this. We will also cover how to involve them in creating positive change. When your kids have an investment in the decisions, they’ll be willing to commit as much as you are to building on each other’s strengths. It won’t just be parents limiting screen time, it’ll be the family overall spending more time together – and less on screens.
That togetherness, or belonging, is also why the class and coaching work well, too. You’ll have an experience with other parents of making changes for the better, and you’ll handle bumps in the process of change when you have support from the group. Research in recent years has shown that a sense of belonging is usually a major missing component when there are struggles to creating change in our lives. Ensuring you have this will strengthen the results in your family and your support from the class. 2
Developing Kids’ Confidence and Independence
By involving your kids in the process, they will be developing a sense of control in their own lives. This will also help them to be more successful at managing their own screen time. The increased sense of responsibility and personal importance increases your success and your kids’ success. 3
There is a lot of information in this program, and the focus is really on the outcomes, both big and subtle, that you can expect.
This program is no cookie-cutter because you’re involved in the process. There is no checklist – the solutions are tailored to your specific needs. What you’ll decide to do differently will be unique, because your situation is unique, and your family dynamics are unique. And the changes you decide to make will have a lasting impact.
Some Questions That You May Have About Parenting Coaching
I’m not sure your parenting ideas will work for me and my family. How do I know this works?
This is not like buying a book, with the same chapters and ideas for everyone. This is an ongoing process… You will be working out ideas that will work specifically for you and your family.
I think I’ll figure this out myself.
It can be hard to handle this on your own because no two kids are exactly the same, and no two families are exactly the same. You might find that a lot of “free” resources available online fail to account for those differences. So you may end up trying to implement changes and strategies that are not suited well to your child or your family.
If you need any help or ideas, I’ll be here if you want to talk.
It’s easier to just let them watch screens. They’ll grow out of it, won’t they?
Children don’t seem to grow out of it. As kids, they keep watching whenever they can, and it continues into their teens if left to decide on their own. Getting children to make these kinds of changes on their own is not simple – which is why you’ll work with them on this – though this will be the most fun “work” you’ve had!
You CAN Reduce Your Kid’s Bad Moods and Screen Dependence! You’ll Have More Family Time, Too
To help you consider whether the Screen Time Solutions class or coaching might work well for you, I invite you to a no-cost, no-obligation 15-20 minute phone call, at 404-890-0892. I look forward to talking with you.