Dinner is ready!” You announce to your household.
Everyone comes and sits at the table, ready to eat, ...except your tween/teen.
You walk toward their room a little closer and announce again, “Dinner is ready, honey.”
No response again.
So you walk to the doorway of their room and there you see them on their phone, lost to the rest of the world.
Is this a problem? A huge problem?
Is this normal teenage behavior?
Here Are 4 Questions to Help You Evaluate:
Once you get your teen’s attention and to the dinner table, you see that right next to their plate is their phone. The family is talking, but your teen’s attention is somewhere else.
This is the newest in the “close but distant” phenomena that hits families every evening. “Close” because you are right there talking to them, possibly even doing something together. “Distant” because your teen’s mind is somewhere else completely.
Before we get our torches and pitchforks to attack screens, we need to recognize that this is not new for parents and their teens. It could be a book. A magazine.
For my childhood, it was a Nintendo controller in my hands.
Before that, teens would get lost in Beatles albums.
We have all seen the medical research and reports for years now. Smartphones, video games and social media can lead to serious addiction.
They can be distracting. They can be stress-inducing. A simple Google search will give you plenty of articles, reports, and “doomsday” predictions.
But if your teen is not present with his/her family, this is a serious issue.
Teens need screen balance. Teens need their family. Teens need their parents.
I was in a coaching session with two parents last week and they were telling me about their teen’s poor, unacceptable behavior.
They told me, “Our teen is continually choosing to be on screens instead of studying, having family time or spending time with in-person friends.”
So then I asked the parents: “Have you considered using technology to limit their screen time and create predictable usage?"
The parents' faces were visibly shocked by the question.
Before they said a word, you could tell that taking their teen’s phone was not even an option for disciplinary action. The parents responded, “Oh, my teen would kill me if I took away their screen.”
“My tween/teen would kill me if I took away their phone.”
This story is very common for modern families.
Screen addiction is very real...and very serious.
Family time, healthy life balance, and even discipline have become secondary to their teen’s possession of a screen.
Let’s just pause and let this soak.
Is this how we want to live? No.
Every human being has a job in life. Even kids and teens.
Doing well in school is a child's job. Doing chores. Speaking respectfully. Being kind.
If your child has any D's or F's, there is a strong chance the screen is a huge problem.
We cannot forget this point:
The teenage years are an accelerated season of physical and emotional changes, growth, mistakes, and new experiences as they grow into an adult. In this pressure-filled season of life, teens are looking for affirmation and support from wherever they can get it. From good places and bad places alike - support is support!
We coach teens to better understand their emotions and their habits. When we talk about tough times and dealing with stress, we ask, “What do you do to take care of yourself?” The most common answers we get, are “I dunno”, and “go on my screen”. That is a problem.
In our teen coaching process, we help teens understand healthy self-care and how to live with healthy life balance.
In private coaching sessions, we coach teens to live in self-esteem, balance and maturity.
Your son/daughter is not thriving, and screens are an issue.
They may need your help in moving into a place of health and balance.
Everyday we coach parents and teens that are facing serious issues with their phones. We have an amazing community of parents whom we help in the Parents Club.
if you haven't yet, you can attend our FREE parenting Zoom webinar “How to Break Screen Addiction and Build Motivation”.
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Click HERE to go deeper with Sean.
Click HERE to read "3 Mistakes Parents Make With Screen Addiction!"
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".
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