When I grew up, there was no texting or video games. We played outside after school, until it got dark. I couldn't understand why our sons were glued to the screen, whether it be texting, playing video games, or watching television. We had many arguments over how much screen time was allowed.
We need to understand our child, ourselves, and the situation first!
You can eliminate the "battle" by deciding what you will do, being kind and firm, and getting your children involved in creating healthy guidelines for the use of electronic equipment.
-For younger children, you can give them limited choices. "You can play a video game for half an hour or watch TV for half an hour." "You can spend two hours a day on screen time. You decide on a schedule of your choice, and I'll check to see if it works for me too."
-Don't allow TVs in your children's rooms. Sit with your child and watch with them instead of just censoring a show you don't like. Talk with them about what they are watching, what they like about it, and what they are deciding about it. Turn the TV off when there is violence, or something else inappropriate.
-Decide what you will do and what you won't do. If you don't want your dhildren spending too much time watching TV or spending time on computer games, don't buy them. If they have to work to earn the money to pay for these things, they are likely to be doing something else besides watching the screens.
-Model the behavior you want your children to have. If you live a balanced life, you will have teaching your children that. Conversely, if you watch TV or text excessively, you will not be able to convince your children that too much is not good for them.
If you would like to learn more about the Positive Discipline model which helps build connections and relationships, and how to raise respectful, resourceful and responsible children, check out our upcoming introductory and 6-week class schedule at www.positivedisciplinewesternct.org. .
Positive Discipline of Western CT promotes and encourages the development of life skills and respectful relationships in families, schools, and businesses in our local communities. We will provide classes to parents, caregivers, educators, and youth development workers, teaching how to raise a child using Positive Discipline skills.