Screen addiction is real.
Screen addiction is very serious.
If you have a tween/teen who you feel is addicted to a screen, this article is for you.
If you prefer video, you can watch my recent "Live Drive". Click HERE to watch.
Young or old, screens are extremely tempting.
Research tells us that the amount of dopamine we experience using a screen...
-has similarities to cocaine
-sets in motion a potentially addictive pleasure/reward cycle
-can lead to numerous behavioral and communication problems.
We all want our children to have healthy relationships with the screens in their life.
In my 20+ years of working with parents and modern teens, I have helped countless numbers of parents and teens overcome screen addictions and issues around screens.
I want to help. I write this out of love and care.
If you have ever said one of these four sentences, you, parent, are probably part of the problem.
Boredom is good.
It's good for your kids to get bored.
This is a fact.
Boredom fosters imagination, creativity, problem-solving skills and invites kids into new adventures and new learning opportunities.
If you were to limit your screen addict's screen time then:
a. They will get angry.
b. They will mope, whine, or try to manipulate you.
c. They will get bored. Very bored.
These reactions can be hard.
But if you cave and give a screen addict a screen, that's makes you an enabler.
You have not helped your child.
But if you stay strong during this detox phase, your teen would have to make a healthy choice.
"Do I continue to mope and whine and manipulate... or... do I get outside, call a friend or try something new?"
They may start a new hobby, read a book, exercise, call a friend, go outside or do a million other things that healthy kids/teens do.
True - kids are on screens a lot. Especially during COVID.
Also True - most kids are still getting outside to make memories and connect with their friends.
Modern kids experience so much dopamine and relational connection from/through their modern screens it can be a hard addiction/habit to break.
But if their parent falsely believes that a screen is the "only way they connect with their friends", it means this parent is a huge part of the problem.
If you put a plate of healthy foods and meats in front of a three-year-old and next to it put a plate of ice cream, candy and junk food, and ask the three-year-old to eat what they want, we all know what would happen.
They would choose the crap.
They are three years old.
Kids don't understand the human body, minerals, vitamins, cavities, calories or disease. They don't have the maturity to balance their own palate.
Yes, some modern teens know how to balance the screens in their life.
Yet in my 20+ years of working with teens, I have concluded that MOST TEENS/TWEENS don't have the maturity to balance the screens in their own life.
Just like three-year-olds cry when they don't get ice cream, it's common for a teen/tween to cry/mope/whine/manipulate or get angry when they don't have unlimited access to a screen.
With screen addiction, if the parent caves under a child's anger, or is afraid of a child's anger, they are clearly a huge part of the problem.
Parents - children need to be outside...even during COVID.
They need sunshine, adventure, and to make memories.
Kids/Teens need to get their knees scraped. They need to jump off rocks into water. They need to be with friends. They need to push themselves, do things that make them uncomfortable and live life outside of screens.
Human beings need vitamin D, nature, friends, adventure, creativity, and human connection.
It's natural to be afraid of COVID.
It's natural to be afraid of your kid getting hurt.
But if you are parenting in fear...or letting fear guide you to say "I'd rather have them on a screen"
...then you are a huge part of the problem.
If your teen, you, or your family needs help breaking a screen addiction, we are here for you. We can show you the path into health and balance.
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".
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