Screen Time Is The Main Activity That Brings You Happiness
What brings you joy each day? What do you look forward to doing? If you find you are happiest when watching videos, playing a game, or scrolling through social media, thats a warning sign. Watching a terrific movie can certainly be a highlight in ones day, but if screen time is your high point every day, thats out of balance. You need other things like sports, books, hobbies, being with friends, and going to church to look forward to. Psalm 16:11 says our joy comes from spending time with God, You will show me the path of life in Your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Although you can experience God while using screens, its more likely that screens are distracting you away from experiencing more joy, faith, and peace.
Take Breaks From Your Mobile Devices
While itâs easy to say that you need to take a break from mobile devices, the pandemic has made it extremely difficult. However, you need to start monitoring the amount of total screen time and putting a cap on each.
Modern-day smartphones offer the option to lock an app after a certain period in order to restrict screen time. In a way, the phone will force you to take a break and use your screen time more wisely.
For toddlers, this is extremely important as the addiction can lead to temper tantrums. Instead, explain the child beforehand about the mobile device being locked after a certain time. Allow them to mentally prepare to do something else and explore their curious side.
Use this opportunity to send your toddler to play in the sun and understand more of their natural surroundings.
Research suggests that constant screen time increases the risk of your child developing myopia . However, a few hours in the sun will help reduce the same.
Parents Speak From Their Headand Not Their Heart
Many parents love to give speeches or pep-talks or lectures. They want to convince their child, or inspire them. I call this speaking from your head.
“You won’t be successful if you do this.”
“Trust me when I say that screen over-usage is bad.”
“You will get in trouble if you continue this behavior.”
“You need to stop doing that…do this instead. It’s a fact. Don’t argue.”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
When it comes to modern teens, pep talks are not effective.
When it comes to screen addiction, pep-talks don’t work.
When you speak from your head like this, no one listens.
If you really want to help a teen live a life of balance, health and maturity, you need to learn how to speak from your heart….to their heart.
Here at Parenting Modern Teens, we call these, “Heart Talks”.
Heart Talks help children/teens to see their parents as human beings with real, human feelings.
Heart Talks invite children to use their power to bring comfort, kindness and love into a conversation…and into the home.
Heart Talks help teens understand that it’s important to live with harmony and a win/win relationship with family and others.
Heart Talks help young people to break entitlement, selfishness and addiction.
Heart Talks help parents to motivate their children to push themselves into maturity, responsibility and success.
If you would like help with screen addiction or having “Heart Talks“, we are here to help.
2) Schedule a private parent coaching session with me…
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These Changes Include But Are Not Limited To:
- Gray-matter atrophy
- Impaired cognitive function,
- Cravings and impaired dopamine release
Research from the University of Rochester, among other sources, suggests that the brain doesnât fully mature until the late 20s. In addition to these internal neurobiological changes, screen addiction can also affect posture, muscle development, and can even cause bladder issues for teens whose screen time interferes with their willingness to go to the bathroom. Some researchers have actually reported that children are showing up to school unable to exhibit basic fine motor skills and do things like hold a pencil or scissors during class.
Screen Addiction Is Complex
According to the World Health Organization and many independent clinical scientists, human beings can be addicted to screens. Gaming disorder was introduced into the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, in 2018.
Other prominent researchers have argued that digital addiction is a myth. However, as clinicians it is our ethical obligation to take parents and childrens concerns seriously when they present at the clinic with worries about problematic media use.
The issue of being addicted to screens is complicated. First, the term addiction is loaded and is off-putting for some. There are also many sources of screens , many types of media and many ways to use them .
Addiction is also an extreme form of dependence and the term should not be used lightly. A comprehensive understanding of an individuals context, behaviours and the consequences of their actions is needed.
Research into what makes some people more susceptible to addictions shows there are many possible pathways, including genetic and socio-relational factors such as stress. It is important to remember, however, that an increased risk for addiction does not mean that one is destined to become addicted. Many individual, social and environmental factors can protect an individual from developing an addiction.
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Quitting And Handling Withdrawal
You’ve Tried To Cut Back On Your Screen Use Without Success
Although you want to decrease your TV watching, video game playing, or email checking, you havent been able to. Its been really hard to create new habits to limit your screen time. A few days you might do well, but then you lapse back into unhealthy screen use again. Youve tried to impose screen limits without much long-term success.
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What Too Much Screen Time Is Really Doing To Our Kids
Becoming someone with a screen dependency disorder can have devastating effects. According to Family Life and Child Development specialist and Early Childhood Education consultant Claudette Avelino-Tandoc, a childs screen dependency disorder may lead to insomnia, back pain, weight gain or loss, vision problems, headaches, anxiety, dishonesty, feelings of guilty, and loneliness.
Ultimately, however, the long-term effects of these symptoms can be as severe as brain damage. In fact, multiple studies exploring the effects of screen dependency disorder have proven that childrens brains shrink or lose tissue in the frontal lobe, striatum, and insula these areas help to govern planning and organization, suppression of socially unacceptable impulses, and our capacity to develop compassion and empathy, respectively.
Devices or gadgets are not bad per se. They are useful and essential tools for communication, research, learning, entertainment, among other things, says Dr. Avelino-Tandoc. Parents are dealing with 21st century learners, what we call digital natives. They should allow their kids to manipulate these tools. However, balance is the key word.
I First Realized I Was A Junkie During A Meditation Retreat In The California Desert
It was a silent retreat, so we turned in our phones and pledged not to speak for 10 days. Every morning, we walked to the dining hall just as the sun crested the mountains, and I paused for a few minutes to enjoy the sunrise. It was one of the highlights of my day drinking in the beauty of the desert with no sense of hurry and nowhere I needed to be.
As I hurried along, trading the glory of the desert sky for the chance to hunch over a tiny screen, it hit me: I was a junkie. And seeing my fellow retreat-ants trot alongside me with eager looks on their faces, I realized I wasnt the only one.
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Children’s Problematic Media Use Measure
A recent paper by Sarah Domoff and colleagues presents a scale called the Problematic Media Use Measure that parents can use to evaluate their 4- to 11-year-old childrens screen use. The items were adapted from the criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder, which is under consideration for inclusion in the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistics Manual.
Parents are instructed to rate nine items on a five-point scale ranging from 1=Never to 5=Always. Most of the items focus on a childs intense desire for and preoccupation with screen media:
- It is hard for my child to stop using screen media.
- Screen media is the only thing that seems to motivate my child.
- Screen media is all that my child seems to think about.
- My child becomes frustrated when he/she cannot use screen media.
- The amount of time my child wants to use screen media keeps increasing.
- When my child has a bad day, screen media seems to be the only thing that helps him/her feel better.
Several more items pertain to difficulties created in a childs life because of screen use. This is an important consideration in any diagnosis for determining whether or not someone has a clinically significant problem. Childrens screen use can be harmful when it hurts important relationships or interferes with healthy functioning. The relevant items are:
Evaluating Your Current Balance Between The Screens
Be encouraged that you are not alone we all have idols and temptations we contend with. But it is still possible to get and maintain a better balance with the things that matter. Keep track of how you spend your time for a week, writing down how much time you spend in different activities, then evaluate the numbers to get a better perspective on how you spend your time right now.
What is the proportion of time you spend between your screens, your family, and God? How much time do you spend building your relationship with God through prayer and reading His Word? How much time do you spend investing in other people’s lives? How much time do you spend alone with a screen?
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A Make Gradual Changes
Dont ban your child from watching TV or playing games on your phone in one shot. Make gradual changes and cut down an hour a week to start with.
Be smart, introduce new activities so that your kid spends less time watching TV or engaging with a gadget, without even knowing.
Also, if its his/her favourite show on TV or a new game, give your child half an hour to an hour maximum to entertain himself/herself. Tell your kid its important to get up, stretch, eat, or play outdoors especially after sitting and staring at the screen for an hour. Make it a habit.
Secret Formula To Prevent Screen Addiction In Your Child Bats
Mummy am boredPapa, I dont know what to do Am bored
As parents, when you hear your child scream Im Bored, dont you rush in to save them from boredom?
Whether youre travelling by car, at someones house or out for dinner, when your child is bored, and when you run out of ideas, its a likelihood that youll turn to the easiest and ever-present saviour in disguise the stimulating smartphones.
But what is boredom, and what is its connection with screen time?
Vidya explains that as parents, somewhere weve mistakenly drawn the conclusion that its our responsibility to save our children from boredom or that boredom is bad.
Boredom, on the other hand, is a precursor to creativity. And in todays digital era creativity is much more valued than IQ or EQ. Today, being different matters. And being bored is the precedent to thinking differently!
So the next time your child says he/she is bored, dont rush and react. Instead, respond. How do you do this?Simple throw the ball on their court!
Ask them, what do you think we can do? Shall we try something different?And encourage them to come up with solutions that are screen-free!
Next, lets look at some alternatives!
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What You Can Do As A Parent
The Canadian Paediatric Societys 2019 guidelines include helpful recommendations for parents:
1. Manage screen use. You can achieve this by creating a family media plan with individualized time and content limits and learning about parental controls and privacy settings. Other tips include co-viewing and talking about content with your children, discouraging use of multiple devices at once, obtaining all passwords and log-in information and discussing appropriate online behaviours.
2. Encourage meaningful screen use. This involves prioritizing daily routines over screen use and helping children and teens to choose age-appropriate content and to recognize problematic content or behaviours. You can become part of your childrens media lives and advocate for schools and child-care programs to consider developing their own plan for digital literacy and screen use.
3. Model healthy screen use. Review your own media habits and plan time for alternative play and activities. Encourage daily screen-free times. Turn off your own screens when they are not in use . Avoid screens at least one hour before bedtime and discourage recreational screen use in bedrooms.
C Avoid Buying Your Child His/her Own Gadget
Is it worth it or deemed fit? Dont buy a gadget because your children want to fit in with their social circle. Buy it only if you are convinced of it is utility and if it fits your affordability. says Dr. Uthista.
Restrain yourself from buying your child his/her own gadget for as long as possible. In case your child requires a computer for purposes like school work, make sure that it is used only while you are around.
If you feel the need for a mobile to know of your childs whereabouts or for safety purposes, then resort to a basic phone. Avoid buying smartphones with advanced functionalities. This way you will be able to monitor and control the screen time of your child.
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How Can I Stop Being Addicted To Screens / My Phone
When it comes to technology consumption, typically the problem can be defined two ways: idolatry or outright addiction. You may be experiencing one or both definitions when it comes to you and your devices. Examine how you use your tech and how often you use it. Do you allow your device-use to get in the way of your relationships with friends, family, or God? How you would feel if it got broken or taken away? What would your response be? Would you get angry or go crazy? Or would you just find something else to do?
The Bible says idolatry is the worship of false gods and that we should run from it . Today, idolatry can be anything that takes precedence in your life over God or other people. Relationships, grades, jobs, devices, possessions, fandoms, sports, etc…all of these things have the potential to take the #1 spot in our lives if we aren’t careful.
Addiction is defined as a compulsive need for a habit-forming substance, or a “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful” . Is “addiction” too strong of a word for your compulsion for screen time? Perhaps you just need to take a step back and refocus your priorities. Or is compulsive device usage something you have zero self-control over?
Takes A Toll On Imagination
Imagination and creativity are an integral part of your childs development.
When was the last time you saw your child pretend-play with just a cardboard box, imagining a whole new world and story around it?
You more often notice children these days spending a lot more time on gadgets than the real worlds.
They usually get attracted to these virtual worlds and remain there for prolonged periods of time. This endless time watching TV or playing with gadgets deprives them the time to think on their own and be imaginative.
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I Was Becoming More Isolated
I also found myself less likely to actually connect with real life friends and family. If I was keeping up with their every move via social media, then why would we need to catch up in person? I would occasionally use social media to connect and meet up with a local mom but that was far and few between. I was feeling more and more isolated despite being so connected. If my husband was driving us somewhere, I would be on my phone the entire time, completely missing a rare opportunity to connect.
I had to change my habits.