Do you often feel that their screen-time is running out of hand? Have you ever asked yourself why it is bothering you?
“When we were kids, we used to play outside”, I`d like to say to them. But I won’t. I don’t even know why I have a problem with them being on screens. I only know that I often feel stressed when I find them gaming. I’m not a control freak, except when it comes to screen time. Time to find a solution.
I have to come to understand my own concerns first. Here are the steps to clean my mind:
I don’t like my kids spending too much time on gaming. This is my starting point.
This combines a thought and a feeling. I think that my kids spend too much time on screens. But the fact is, that I don’t even know, how much time they spend on screens, and I don’t have an idea what is too much time anyway. So I should just say that they spend some time on screens, and that’s a fact. The thought “too much” is subjective. It is not a fact, just a thought.
This thought causes me feel out of control, even angry from time to time when I get tired of controlling my emotions. Sometimes I act on my anger and demand that they shut down the screens immediately.
Would I want to bother controlling their screen time if I knew that they are in control for themselves? No. I’d be happy to let go of this control.
You may want to play this on your own thoughts too. It will at least take care of your side of the issue and help you figure out what you would like to achieve.
So step one for me is to check if they are in control of their own habits concerning screens. How do I do that?
Firstly, I asked them to write down all their thoughts for a period of one week, before they start gaming and after they’ve stopped. The deal was that I would stop nagging them if they co-operate. It was easy to convince them.
I’m sure each young person is triggered by diverse motivations, so I expect four different results for my four kids. Your children would have different motives again.
In my next post I will hopefully be able to tell you what I want to do next about my kids’ screens-habits after I have come to understand their motives.
Are you disturbed by the screen-habits of your kids? Have you analyzed your thoughts? What was your conclusion? How would you find out if your kids are in control of their screen habits? I’d love to read your comments.