Are your kids learning the values you want them to when they are on Twitter & Instagram, texting, or playing video games?
Your answer to that question may range from “No”, to, “Sometimes”, depending on the amount of time spent on their devices.
I propose that we work together to limit our children’s electronics use so they can spend more time doing value creating activities.
With little or no homework in the summer, kids can gravitate towards electronics because they are very stimulating and easy to access.
However, children need a variety of activities that challenge them to overcome their internal obstacles and develop higher self-esteem in the process.
Here is the process of limiting electronics usage.
Step 1: Understand that your parenting role is that of a Director not a Collaborator. (Read how to determine your role.)
Your role as the Director is to set rules, guidelines, and expectations for your children. Problem is, parents often get mad when they have to remind their kids to do their chores.
When you bring up a concern and your child doesn’t feel it is their problem; you have to decide how to make them understand and address your concern(s).
The key is to accept your job as the director without getting angry.
Then you can direct with warmth and your kids’ resistance will diminish.
Step 2: Before you tell your kids the new limits, learn effective Director Role strategies.
Read: How to give directions that are followed.
The most effective strategy to direct children is by using the “just the facts” approach.
Using this strategy may not seem “nice.” But is respectful and caring, which is more important and effective.
You are not asking, pleading, or trying to please in order to get your needs met.
The trick is to simply state your expectation in a calm and direct manor.
And do yourself a favor, and take a moment to Read: Give non-negotiable rules to teens to stop the arguing.
Step 3: Use the Electronics Use Guidelines so you can clearly state the family expectations and rules. This includes rules on yourself as well.
It’s a big challenge limiting electronics use.
But remember, it is important to be a good role model for your children. Make sure you are limiting your usage first.
Are you so busy on your phone that you don’t pay enough attention to your kids? Are you spending time having fun with them?
Remember, that change begins with you. When you change, you’ll bring out a different response from your children. Parenting is your opportunity for personal growth.
Copyright 2017 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, private parenting coaching sessions, and her book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. She works with parents of 5 – 25 year-old children.