Does your child feel entitled to playing video games whenever they want, for however long they want?
If you’re like me, you remember growing up without a ton of electronic access. I didn’t even have a cell phone (the flip kind, much less a Smartphone) until the early 2000’s!
So why do children feel entitled to electronic access when so many of us believe these items are a privilege?
The first mistake many parents make is neglecting to set up an agreement around screen time. This can be done as young as preschool.
If you’re thinking, “my child KNOWS the limits but just doesn’t FOLLOW them,” it means your agreement isn’t clear or enforced.
Watch today’s video to learn how to create an easy-to-enforce agreement that makes electronic usage a privilege rather than an expectation.
After watching the video, take a moment to jot down an action or behavior you would like to see in each of these categories so that you can hold a family meeting and get started on creating an agreement:
- Behavior (E.g. No swearing).
- Household chore/responsibility (E.g. Make bed; take out recyclables).
- Academic (E.g. Daily reading; homework).
- Health / movement (E.g. play outside 20 minutes; swim laps).
- Connection (E.g. FaceTime Grandma for 5 minutes).
BEST TIP: include a guideline that says “in order to earn screen time tomorrow you agree to shut down electronics without negotiation.”
Remember to use language that supports the fact that electronic usage is a privilege. Say, “As soon as you do what’s on our agreement you earn screen time.”
Refrain from threatening your child, such as, “If you don’t do these things you won’t earn screen time.” She’ll learn naturally that she won’t get screen time by your action of not giving in until agreements are met. Badgering you won’t result in a different outcome.
This “natural learning” is how children develop better responsibility for their actions, so give yourself permission to let go of lecturing and threatening. Instead, create a media agreement.
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