Screen-Obsessed Kid: He Is Always On
Screen-Obsessed Kid: He Is Always On
Why Your Screen-Obsessed Kid is in Trouble
Parenting is not easy. Tension, anxiety, madness, and even divorce can accompany the task of having children, and each situation requires a different set of skills to get through it all.
One thing we all have in common, however, is a keen awareness of our kids’ dependency on technology, and some kids seem to have more screen-obsessed needs than others. As one writer put it, “We know what happens to children who have over-indulged on computer games and YouTube; they often turn out stressed, stressed, stressed.”
Here’s an easy guide to help you decide what an over-scheduled kid really needs – and how to give it to him.
The Absolute (and Completely Healthy) Path
These days, the fundamental law of the mobile device universe is that once you leave home, there’s no going back. Our lives are crowded with it, and that doesn’t mean we don’t need a break to remember that the world and its possibilities still exist out there.
The best solution is to set up home-alone time. Once the phone is turned off, you can count on it to take it all back to its rightful place – at home.
On the weekends, put the kids to bed early and allow them some alone time. You can get in a few yourself as well. Then all of a sudden, you’ll be able to reset and see that it’s no big deal and you can do it again – that’s what you should have learned when you were a child.
The next time they do play, don’t get off your front stoop and try to give your child what he wants. Instead, ask them what they want, and get it yourself. Tension, exhaustion, and argument are not the ends all be all of the pleasures and triumphs of childhood.
Get Help: Time Alone And Needy
Sometimes, it is hard to know when your child is in need of a good time. It can feel as if he can’t go a day without making an excuse to get off.
Sometimes, he is just a little teetering on edge, and you need to bring him along to a quiet moment and give him space to think.
These are good times to take a moment and ask yourself, “How will I feel about this behavior this time next week?” Or, “Does it matter at all at this point?”
Then, if the answer is yes, then it can pay to invest in a few classes in “parenting from the gut”.
Have To Be Patient
Any parent can tell you that your child is hard to make happy. But it’s also true that everything does take time.
The path to establishing a new approach might not necessarily appear straightaway, and we need to be more patient. Perhaps he needs to come to you first, and let you know that this is what he wants.
We have to be willing to let a child make mistakes. We have to be patient and prepared to help him turn things around. A child can improve if he understands what he is doing is wrong, and he learns that his error can be corrected by simply altering some behavior.
When you see your child frustrated, trying to solve a problem for the sixth time in three months, ask them what they are asking you for. This is the time to show them you are patient.
Think About It
There’s often very little to be gained by fighting over screens, even if they feel needed.
We need to be able to celebrate our child’s gifts and give him what he needs – to help him grow into an individual who, if he wants, can make his own choices and build new relationships.
There’s no telling what life is going to throw at him, but most children, no matter how screen-obsessed, will find a way to find happiness.
In the end, this is about happiness – making your children feel good about themselves and happy to be your children. That’s the best path.
Ki Sung Kim PhD, MSW is the author of The Guide to Parenting From the Gut: Tools for Calm Parenting, from Shifting Minds to Tumbling Nerves. You can find more information on the use of the Guides here.