Solutions For Parents

Middle Childhood » Discipline and Guidance

Screenagers and their parents

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I know you moms and dads in parent land are practically perfect, but there is a case against perfection when it comes to your kids using technology and staring at screens for hours every day.   If you want to curb the use of screens dominating your children’s lives … take a deep breath, listen to my answer.    

Since the 50’s teens have been told what to do, talked into a pattern of staring, clicking, hiding information and escaping into their own universe.  Screen-silly kids are only a symptom of all those years of learning to write, do numbers, create pictures and read.  Home or school! Sports or no sports! 

Teens and tweens spend hours repeating info to the tune of instruction and direct teaching.  They go over the same boring and similar material every day…….the same spelling words, math problems, variations of the theme of the subject, for hours every week. Teachers know this method will reinforce learning and they try hard to think up strategies to stimulate and vary the experiences.  They mostly just talk, lecture, comment, and do their best.

The pattern of learning is deathly boring and seriously creating teenage monsters who hover, giggle, scream and text, sitting for hours doing something fun that we used to call forming (good or bad) relationships and friendships.   Mostly, they like all of us want attention, but what do parents do?  They give attention all right!  Negative feedback!  “Get up get away from that thing”…. Creating thousands and thousands of  “go away” teens, glued to screens and glad to have the privacy of not-so-positive attention.   

Listen Carefully…….!  The answer is that parents need the self assurance to monitor your kid’s friends, vital to keep asking who is on the internet and who is on the phone?   Most of all, fix your eyes and ears on what is good about your child, throw compliments their way and approve (most of the time) of your kids’ social lives. 

Even screenagers will work for your attention and your approval, so give kudos more often than you give criticism!   

Ask Dr. Susan