A Parent Who Struggled with Screen Time Shares Her Success Story
Posted: September 3, 2019
Hi Tina - Thank you so much for the resources you've been sending, I really appreciate it!!
I'd like to send you one of my "successes" ahead of schedule if you don't mind...
The night we talked (same day I'd just discovered Sophie had been sneaking her computer to bed with her the previous 2 nights), I told Sophie her electronics were going to be taken away, but I wanted to talk to her about technology & what had been happening, and after we talked I would reconsider her electronics.
So not too long after she came to me to talk, if rather grumpily.
The first thing I said was, "So Sophie, do you feel like we're trying to control you with your technology?"
"Does it feel like kind of an insult to you?"
"Yes, it does!"
She'd been laying on the kitchen bench across the table from me, but now was kind of propping herself up and meeting my gaze.
We then had a discussion where I used a lot of your advice from our earlier talk, like telling her I didn't really blame her for her deception because it's something a lot of kids do but I wanted to have a different kind of relationship with her, and telling her why she wasn't ready to manage electronics herself yet, too addictive, PFC not mature & so on.
She had a ready counter about why she should be allowed - she should have more independence, be allowed to fail etc. I listened (& said I love that you want that) but told her good parents who love their kids help their kids with this, the way we helped them since they were little, (newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, school age, etc.)
In the end, I agreed she could have more independence with homework, where John & I would try out not checking on her plan every day and throughout the night & whether she was getting everything done, she'd take responsibility, but she agreed she'd do her work with computer facing out so we could easily see it & help her stay on task, we'd walk by at intervals, and us parents would still have rules about bedtime, nutrition, general health and safety. (& no electronics after bedtime of course)
When done I said, “Ok, we can be done now, did you think that was a good talk?”
And she said, "Yes." !!!! :-)
After that, that softening came back, as I had seen before.
So after many steps back, we got a step forward once again.
So appreciative of your wisdom and approach. It feels like what has been missing for a long time.