First, let me be clear. I am not in favor of kids spending excessive amounts of time on their devices. The addiction factor, sleep issues, and even growing risk of depression/suicide are all well-known issues for me.
7th grade teacher Pernille Ripp has even recently gone #phonefree in her classroom for these last couple of months, a move her students seem to love as it allows them to more comfortably share vulnerable learning processes.
What I want to discuss is the impact of rationing screen time for our kids. I’m talking about bargaining for behavior, tallying minutes, and otherwise keeping such a tight grip on the amount of time our kids spend on screens that they begin to fixate on it.
It reminds me of what happens when we focus so thoroughly on “forbidden foods” that we end up binge-eating.
What if, instead…
…we regularly discussed the importance of balance?
…we explicitly taught even our young kids that tech can be a tool for empowerment, rather than just an device for entertainment?
…we created reasonable default screen time allowances our kids can count on so they don’t have to spend their days worrying when they will next be allowed to watch a movie or play a video game?
…we talked honestly with our kids about our screen time habits — both how we use it for practical and/or positive purposes, and how we are trying to improve not-so-positive habits?
…we set up rules and limitations in a shared manner, learning together about what helps us achieve balance and healthy lifestyle?
Our kids have been born into an remarkable and unprecedented age of technology. Let’s find ways to work alongside them as they work to develop healthy, positive, and balanced habits.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto