Do you find yourself arguing with your teens over screen time? The folks over at Screenagers recently published these three tips to help reduce conflict around screen time and make life with teens a little more peaceful.
How to Optimize Parenting
I find this statistic staggering: thirty percent of adults and the same percentage of youth report that they argue daily about screen time at home. That is millions of kids, teens, and parents fighting every single day about screen issues and many millions more who fight often, though not daily.
I have some suggestions about how to put more joy into parenting given all the new stressors that have come with today’s tech revolution.
1. Have technology do some of the parenting work for you.
Rather than constantly repeating, “Time to shut it off,” why not have your wifi at home set to automatically turn off at a specific time. Circle, for example, is a device that enables you to set individual filters and wifi access times on all your devices. With the Circle app, you can monitor data usage times for all the apps on your families’ phones. Some internet services like Xfinity also allow customers to set internet access times and limits for specific computers. Still, I always suggest that phones be put away at bedtime because kids are constantly finding workarounds to mobile data control apps.
2. Adjust your thinking about “fighting.”
Think about the upsides of arguing. I have been reviewing the research around parent-teen conflict and have found some “silver linings” to consider:
- Teens consistently report feeling much less stressed about arguing than their parents do. So how about as parents, we decide to be less bothered by it too—after all, fair is fair.
- Research shows many benefits that teens get when they have productive arguments with parents. Healthy, productive arguing, from the teen perspective, is when the parents listen well to their claims and will change rules at times based on good sound input from the teens.
3. Optimize good times with your kids.
There is a study that examined happiness and scarcity where college students were instructed to imagine they had only one month left in the place they lived. The control group did not get this instruction. After a month, the students that imagined time was coming to an end had branched out and done more interesting things and saw more people they cared about than the control group had. Why not try that with your family?
If you, or a loved one is struggling with screen addiction call Tamara Ancona, MA, LPC at (678) 297-0708 for an evaluation, and to discuss the best treatment options available.