Managing Screen Meltdowns without Losing Your Mind is on the top of many parents’ lists of things to do this year. How do you keep kids busy without electronics? How do you handle the attitudes that come with screentime boundaries? Let’s talk about that today.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day. In this episode, I’m continuing my conversation with author Arlene Pellicane about how we can help our kids manage screen time in a healthy way by setting clear expectations and consequences. We also talk about managing expectations and helping our kids fail forward, Arlene’s five A+ skills that every child needs to master, and some practical ideas on how and when to introduce new screen time boundaries with your family.
Key points from our conversation:
📱 It’s important to set expectations about screen limits with kids as young as 3 and follow through with the predetermined consequences. Training is the most successful when we’re also modeling healthy behaviors.
✍️ If your children are older, it can be helpful to include them in the process of thinking through consequences for violating screen rules. Write them down so the expectations and consequences are clear. If a child can’t use screens responsibly you may not need to remove screens completely, but instead, supervise them differently.
⛔ Expect your children to fail but help them fail forward. Breaking rules is not necessarily an indicator of a character issue or something to take personally, the child simply made an impulsive decision. Remain calm and they will too. If you can’t be calm, wait until tomorrow.
😌 How we approach our kids is important because they don’t want to disappoint their parents. Don’t accuse. Gather the facts. Remain calm. They need to know you’re on their team. You’re there to help. We’re all human. Be their advocate.
🤝 If we handle their failures well, they can learn from their mistakes. If we shame them, they will hide things better next time. We want to create a cooperative relationship of transparency.
🖐️ Arlene has identified five A+ skills that every child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.
💻 If you want to set new boundaries with your kid’s screen time, try starting with a family screen fast day or choose a time when your routine will already be disrupted, like camp or vacation.
💕 There are endless wonderful things online that are beneficial. Consider how you and your family can use devices to bring you closer to God and the people you love.
Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home
Screen Kids: 5 Relational Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World
Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life
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