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What Example Are You Setting?

“I guess I need to give up my phone if I don’t want him to learn that behavior from me. It’s not like I need it for work or anything. I’m just used to checking it,” a Dad mused with me recently.

If you have a child of any age, screen time is likely a hot-button issue – kind of an “all-consuming/addictive” topic!

(Did you know Google, Apple, and all the others know oh-so-well how to captivate and addict you with their programs, apps, and phone designs?)

There is no avoiding it with our kids – so we compromise, negotiate, and navigate until we make ourselves crazy – and our kids wear us down.

Holding off as long as possible is a worthwhile strategy. Still, what 2 year-old can’t swipe a screen? After all, they’ve been watching us and mimicking our movements from day one.

They whine at restaurants, so we hand them our phone.
They’re on the brink of meltdown at the grocery store, so we hand them our phone.
They plead and beg with us until we can’t stand it a moment longer, so we hand them our phone.

And so it begins. And you’re in deep.

It is scary that we are setting an example for behaviors that we actually have no idea where they will lead – how they will be impacted by them by the time they are our age!

SEVEN things to do now:

1. Hold off as long as possible! They will never ask for LESS media.

2. Leave your phone off. Or, better yet, leave it at home. (I actually raised my kids to adulthood without having a phone in my pocket!)

3. Observe your own phone use – is it really necessary RIGHT NOW to scroll through your instagram?

4. Observe your children – or other people’s children – when the parent is on the phone. The looks of longing in those kid’s eyes is heartbreaking.

5. Delete apps that qualify as “time wasters.” If you can’t manage your own time on-screen, install an app that limits your time.

6. Keep track (there’s an app) of the time you do spend on screens. Research has proven that we generally UNDERestimate the amount of time we are on screens.

7. NATURE is the anti-venom for screens. Make sure you get out, look around, smell the air and feel the breeze every day – and leave your phone at home!

TAKE ACTION:

Educating yourself is your best defense!

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