How to Manage Your Children's Screen Addiction, Part 1

If any of you are parents, you will most likely have a child that is addicted to a screen. If you are one of the fortunate parents to have cracked the code of children's screen addictions, good for you. I mean this with zero sarcasm. Please let us know in the comments below what worked for you. 

For the rest of us that have been fooled, betrayed and trapped by screens, here is the game plan, part 1. The first part of the game plan is to help yourself. How can you teach your children not to be addicted, when you yourself are addicted to screens. Do you fill in all your free time trying to play a game on your phone, scrolling mindlessly through infinite feeds on social media, get caught up in a YouTube rabbithole or constantly checking news websites? 

You don't have to get rid of all your screen time, but it will be easier to implement screen controls starting at zero screen time and gradually building up to a safe zone. At this point, you might feel like you can't do this. This is hard, but everyone has a will. A will that can be oriented in the right way. The attempt must be made. Here are the five things that must be done:

  • Delete the following from your phone/tablets: a. games b. social media this includes YouTube.
  •  Don't play video games on any other type of screen (e.g., laptops, desktops, consoles).
  •  Don't watch tv shows, movies, etc..
  •  Play board games with the family
  • Do outdoor activities with the family.

Now that I've pissed off everybody and they all think I'm out of my mind. Ask yourselves, can you do this? You are probably thinking "this is too extreme", "I'm not addicted", and the for sure sign you are addicted, "I could stop video games or social media at any time, but this is pointless, so I won't". You'll try to justify that you get some utility out of the activity. But the point is that the addiction is hurting you in so many ways. You're missing out on moments with your spouse and children because you're too busy completing daily quests. You're not present in the moment and people can tell. You're missing out on crucial sleep. What does lack of sleep cause, check out this page from the  Cleveland Clinic. Don't waste time in the morning getting ready for work or at night on the phone. Leave the phone outside your bedroom. 

Remember to first help our children we must be masters of our will.


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