Our son entered middle school this year and he is growing in all sorts of new and fun ways! He outgrew his shoe size, his appetite is bigger, he’s grown a wider circle of friends, and he’s definitely sleeping longer and longer hours. Along with that growth, his desire and appetite for screen time is growing bigger too!
Honestly, navigating our son’s screen time isn’t a new challenge to us. We’ve wondered for years how to set good boundaries so that screen time could be a blessing and not a burden as he grows.
That’s why we are glad to have our guest on the show today, Arlene Pellicane. She is the author of Screen Kids and is here to help us all navigate screen time with our kids.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- How technology has been designed to be addictive
- The importance of managing your own screen time
- Practical tips for putting limits on screen time as a parent
- And more!
We hope you enjoy this conversation!
- [BOOK] Screen Kids: 5 Relational Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World
- [BOOK] Grandparenting Screen Kids: How to Help, What to Say, and Where to Begin
- [BOOK] Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
- [BOOK] Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
- Connect with Arlene on Instagram, Facebook, or her website
1) Technology is not neutral. We can tend to think of technology as neutral–it’s neither good nor bad on its own but it’s all about how we use it. However, the reality is that technology has been designed to be addictive. Numerous scientists and psychologists have been employed to make us spend as much time as possible on technology. Our children have an uphill battle from the start because enacting limits and boundaries around screen time go against how it has been designed.
2) Help your child develop hobbies. As parents, we can help our children find a balance with technology by supporting their interests in other activities. This might be participating in a sport, going hiking, or learning how to do a particular craft. When our child has additional interests, that are not based in technology, this gives them something else to fill their time with doing.
3) Practice a digital sabbath. A digital sabbath is simply a designated period of time when you have decided to take a break from technology. It could be as simple as setting aside your phones at the dinner table or it could be more extensive where you set aside technology for an entire weekend. The key is to start small and incorporate ways for your family to remain entertained and connected. You may want to commit to this habit for a month or two as you may find it challenging to be phone and technology-free initially!
Meet Our Guest
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker, author, podcast host, and mom to three children. Some of her writing includes Screen Kids, Parents Rising, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom, and Calm, Cool and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. Arlene has been featured on the Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, and FamilyLife Today. She’s the host of the Happy Home Podcast and a regular contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries. Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband, James, their children, and their Goldendoodle named Winston.