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3 Mistakes Parents Make With Screen Addiction

 Screen addiction is real.

Screen addiction is very harmful.

Screen addiction is painful.

Screen addiction doesn't just go away.

Our team of coaches have been successfully helping teens and families break screen addiction for many years.

We understand the complexities, the fears, the pain and the difficulty of breaking a screen addiction.

This is serious.

We love helping parents and teens break this harmful, toxic addiction.

Here are 3 mistakes that many parents make... 


3. Parent is an Enabler Who Funds the Addiction

Like any addiction, screen addiction usually exists with the support of an "enabler".

An enabler is a person who helps make the addiction possible. They help fund it. Allow it. Support it. Don't intervene. Accept it.

An enabler may hate the addiction, and may even make strong efforts to stop it, but if they still fund it, allow it, cave into it....they continue to play the role of "enabler".


In the case of screen addiction, the parents are almost always the enablers: 

They pay for the wifi, the phone, the screens and they house the young addict under their roof.  Some will make excuses for their teen or blame the addiction on anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, divorce, bullying or a hundred different things. Others find themselves in a vicious , repetitive cycle where their child acts abusively. 

Enablers always have reasons why they enable addicts.

There are always lots of emotions and fears involved in enabling.

Enabling an addict is not a healthy choice. It's not healthy for the child, the parent or the family.

Enabling is an unhealthy expression of love.

If you are a parent who is enabling a screen addict, (or any other addiction)  we would love to help you overcome your enabling patterns and move into a place of health and positivity. There is always hope. There are always alternative ways to love and support our children.


2. Parent Gives a Consequence Which Doesn't Reach Their Teen's Heart

The world is filled with natural consequences which really affect us...and our hearts.

-We don't cuss out our bosses because we are afraid of getting fired. 

-We don't cheat on our spouses/partners because we are afraid of hurting them and our relationship.

-We don't drink and drive because we are afraid of hurting someone.

-We show up to work because were are afraid of losing our job.


Every home has rules, structure and order.  

All teenagers are capable of obeying their parents, obeying the law, respecting authority, doing well in school, and living a healthy balanced life. Yes, even teens diagnosed with all types of things.

Yet, it's also very natural and normal for tweens and teens to break a rule. Yes, breaking rules is a normal aspect to adolescent development.

But just because it's normal for tween/teens to break rules, it doesn't make it right or acceptable.

It's not ok.

The world is filled with natural every home needs natural consequences. 

Some parents don't provide consequences when their children break rules. They don't give them because they are afraid, they are too busy, they don't know how, they had bad experiences with consequences when they were children, or because of many other reasons.

This is not good. Children learn and grow with good, natural consequences. Consequences help kids to learn obedience, respect and rule-keeping. Every home is a school and this home education is invaluable.

Yet not all consequences are the same. Some are helpful, and others are not.

We have discovered that many of the consequences that parents give are outdated and wildly ineffective. 

If you haven't noticed yet, taking a teen's screen away doesn't usually go well. Have you noticed that it doesn't change the behavior?

Nor does yelling at them. 

Nor does grounding them. 

These consequences are outdated and do not produce the outcomes parents desire. If you have used them in the past there is a good chance the behavior has returned.


These consequences don't reach their heart.

One of the ways that our team of coaches helps parents break screen addiction is by providing alternative forms of consequences which really affect a teen's mind...and reach their heart.

1. Parents Speak From Their Head...and Not Their Heart

Many parents love to give speeches or pep-talks or lectures. They want to convince their child, or inspire them. I call this speaking from your head.

"You won't be successful if you do this." 

"Trust me when I say that screen over-usage is bad."

"You will get in trouble if you continue this behavior."

"You need to stop doing this instead. It's a fact. Don't argue."

Blah. Blah. Blah. 

When it comes to modern teens, pep talks are not effective.

When it comes to screen addiction, pep-talks don't work.

When you speak from your head like this, no one listens.

If you really want to help a teen live a life of balance, health and maturity, you need to learn how to speak from your their heart.

Here at Parenting Modern Teens, we call these, "Heart Talks". 

Heart Talks help children/teens to see their parents as human beings with real, human feelings.

Heart Talks invite children to use their power to bring comfort, kindness and love into a conversation...and into the home.

Heart Talks help teens understand that it's important to live with harmony and a win/win relationship with family and others.

Heart Talks help young people to break entitlement, selfishness and addiction.

Heart Talks help parents to motivate their children to push themselves into maturity, responsibility and success. 

If you would like help with screen addiction or having "Heart Talks", we are here to help.

1) You can register for my latest parenting class, "How To Break Screen Addiction and Build Motivation" 👉🏻

2) Schedule a private parent coaching session with me...

3) Schedule a private coaching session for your tween/teen or college-age student.

3) Sign up to be part our Parents Club community and get intense support!



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Stay Strong. Be Close. Teach Wisdom.

Sean Donohue

Family Coach, Founder

Click HERE to go deeper with Sean.

Click HERE  to read "Young Men Are Lions - And Need To To Feel Like One."

Click HERE to read “7 Things EVERY Teen Girl Needs to Hear From Her Parents.

Click HERE for Sean's article, "Why Teens Need EQ Skills".

Click HERE to read Sean's article, "How To Evaluate Your Teen's Emotional Maturity".