Hands up who has a battle on their hands when it comes to ending screen time?
Do you avoid setting limits on screens because you don't want to deal with the inevitable meltdown?
Do you wish your child could switch off without a massive fight?
In this episode I share some gentle ways to turn screen time conflicts into a time of connection.
So how can you turn this time of conflict into a time of connection?
- Expect the upset.
- Take a deep breath, remind yourself your child is a good child, they haven’t done anything wrong, they aren’t being naughty or disobedient.
- Then you are going to bring the limit - there’s no point shouting from across the room. Get in close, flop down beside them, spend a few minutes connecting with them, notice what’s happening in the game, see how long is left on the episode. If they’re about to finish a level or there’s only a few mins left then allow them to finish that off.
- Then set the limit - warmly, lightly - it doesn’t have to be stern or harsh. “Ok, it’s time to turn it off, let me help you”
- Then LISTEN to any frustrations or upsets - it’s normal, it’s ok for them to feel the feelings. In fact, it’s helpful. Keep offering connection, put your hand on the device/remote. Don’t rush it, there’s no urgency. The more you listen, the easier it will be next time.
- You can also set some playful limits that will help diffuse the power struggles and bring connection (kids can be quite disconnected after screens). A great game we played - wrestle to turn the TV off.
I have put together a wonderful cheat sheet of ideas to solve a whole host of parenting challenges.
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There are 12 common parenting standoff scenarios on there including sharing, sibling battles, picky eating, getting out the door in time, clingy kids and hair washing battles.