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Summertime Screen Battles and Creating Life Balance

When we were growing up, summertime was about swimming pools, summer camp and making memories!

For many families, summertime now means something else...


Here are...

3 Helpful Insights 
5 Helpful Action Steps

To Help Your Teen(s) Create Life Balance.

1. Young people who spend seven hours or more a day on screens are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety than those who use screens for an hour a day, finds a new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.

2.  Regarding games like Fortnite, the University of Rochester research found that 'Frustration with Video Games Leads to Aggressive Behavior".

3. Famous researcher Jean Twenge found that screen time is a likely cause of the ongoing surge in teen depression, anxiety, and suicide.

5 Action Steps To Create Life-Balance

5. Teach Your Teen That Screens Are Like Desserts

Ice cream. Sour Patch Kids. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 

Yummy stuff.

Healthy adults understand that desserts are not like regular food. Desserts are special. A treat. Desserts are not for every meal, but only for special occasions. 

If eaten too much, desserts can be dangerous. 

Food can be addictive. Desserts can harm us.

Screens are the same way.

They are yummy (lots of dopamine!) but screens need to be limited..and prioritized...and experienced in BALANCE.

In my 20+ years of working with teens, I have found that most teens CANNOT limit themselves.

If you have a teen who can not limit themselves, then...

4. Set Screen Limits + Rules...and Give Out Harsh Consequences For Breaking A Rule.

All kids need rules and boundaries. There are rules everywhere.

Parents create rules to protect and mentor our children.

Rules should be followed.

If a rule is not followed, and there is no consequence, or the natural consequence is so small, then why have the rule at all?

Screen rules should be honored. Apps like NetNanny and "ScreenTime" should not be altered or hacked.

I know many, many parents who, when their teenager abuses their screen/phone/game, the consequence is either a pep-talk or the parents take the phone away for 1-2 days. 

This is not effective.

A light consequence sends a message that a rule is not important.

Imagine if the consequence for a DUI was $5, and offenders could pay the fine via credit card and it would not go on their record. Do you think that there would be more drunk drivers on the road? Absolutely. 

Screens are powerful. They should be recognized for their power, and if a rule a broken, consider how the longer natural consequence of not having access to the screen could help your teen make wiser choices when he/she earns the privilege again.

If you need help with this, our Coaches at PMT can help parents to create positive rules and healthy, natural consequences.

3. Consider A SCREEN FAST.

Maybe it's for 2 weeks. Maybe it's 30 days. Maybe it's over your week-long family summer vacation. 

I have read that research says just one week without screens can reset a teen's mind...and can improve sleep patterns

2. Help Your Teen To Understand Win/Win.

We at Parenting Modern Teens teach about Win/Wins in all of our parenting classes and in our coaching sessions.

Win/Wins should be the foundation of every parent/teen relationship.

If your teen spends most of their life on a screen...

If your teen doesn't participate in family functions...

If your teen doesn't regularly get outside to spend time with friends and exercise...

If your teen doesn't communicate with you...

Then you are in a Win/Lose relationship with your own child.

I teach a lot about reaching teenagers hearts. The heart is where the action is. In my experience, taking a teen's phone away doesn't reach the heart. Not does grounding, pleasing, avoiding, or punishments.

I teach a lot about the heart in my online parenting course, "The Parenting Teens Masterclass" - Win/Wins are the holy grail of parenting teenagers. Sharing feelings. Working together. Having harmony. Making a parenting plan, a family plan, a screen plan, a communication plan that works for BOTH parents and teens.

1. Get Your Teen/Family/Yourself a PMT Coach.

Our powerful coaching process will help your teens and families to better understand themselves: their passions, their gifts, their fears...and why they like screens so much.

Our Coaches give modern teenagers TOOLS to help them balance the screens in their lives and find healthy ways to feel strong, relaxed, confident and successful. 

If you need support with your teen or family, you can 1) Subscribe to get more articles and tips 2) Contact us for Coaching  3) Download our free House Rules for Teens PDF or 4) Take our free parenting class!

Stay Strong. Be Close. Teach Wisdom. 

 Sean Donohue

Founder and Family Coach


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