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Boy Talk #8: Taming Screens

Guest Mom and Turn the Tide Parenting Coach Carolyn Colbert joined us for a recent BOY TALK interview. She reveals WHY she decided to take on the media/screen dragon and how she tamed it and brought sanity back to her family!

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Carolyn describes the beginning of her journey:

ELECTRONIC FAST EXPERIMENT: THE WAKE UP CALL

Have you ever read an article that seemed to jump off the page at you? As if the author has a sneak peek into your life and is speaking to you directly??

I was quickly scrolling through Facebook and stopped in my tracks when the title of a Psychology Today piece seemed to speak to me. Not with a whisper, or a tap, but a 2×4 over the head.Angry boy blowing steam

Written by psychiatrist Victoria Dunckley about the use of electronics:Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy, and Lazy; 6 Ways electronic screen time makes kids angry, depressed and unmotivated.

My interest turned to concern when I read “Children who are revved up and prone to rages, or (alternatively) apathetic have become disturbingly commonplace. Chronically irritable children are often in a state of abnormally high arousal, and may seem “wired and tired.” That is, they’re agitated but exhausted.”

Hmmmm…sounds familiar.

“Because chronically high arousal levels impact memory and the ability to relate, these kids are also likely to struggle academically and socially. At some point, a child with these symptoms may be given a mental-health diagnosis such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or ADHD, and offered corresponding treatments, including therapy and medication. But often these treatments don’t work very well, and the downward spiral continues.”

My son’s kindergarten teacher mentioned ‘sensory disorder’ during our year-end conference, and we had tried a couple of programs to manage his “restlessness” with limited success. We even had an appointment with a child psychologist to get a formal diagnosis before entering first grade.

I ordered Dunckley’s book Reset Your Child’s Brain and read it in two nights (skipping the sections on teens). After checking nearly every box in the “problem areas of dysfunction & distress table”, I decided to implement her four-week plan, with the promise to “end meltdowns, raise grades, and boost social skills by reversing the effects of electronic screen-time”. An electronic fast to “allow the nervous system to reset.”

This is going to be a wild ride. I’m bracing myself for the worst. The next blog entries will be a daily account of our lives during the fast.
Grab a glass of wine and a front row seat to chaos. ?


Read the rest of Carolyn’s journey at her blog: http://blog.carolyncolbert.com/


 

 

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