Reducing Screen Time–Even Just a Little–Makes a Big Difference

mrdad - screen time ripple effect

mrdad - screen time ripple effectDear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have an 11-year-old who’s very tech savvy and spends a lot of time on her phone and computer. A lot of experts—you included—talk about how we parents should cut back on our kids screen time. That sounds like a great idea, except that we both work full time and are exhausted when we get home, and neither of us has the energy to get into a battle with our daughter. We tried limiting her screen time, but after a few weeks, we didn’t see any difference in her behavior or her grades. Is there really any point in forcing the issue? Our home seems a lot more peaceful when don’t bug our daughter.

A: I love technology, and I’m constantly amazed at the marvelous things it allows us to do. But when it comes to kids (and many adults), there can be too much of a good thing. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that children spend an average of seven hours per day in front of some kind of screen (TV, computer, phones, and other devices). In addition, quite a bit of research indicates that there’s a direct correlation between screen time and obesity, eating disorders, poor academic performance, and other problems.

In our gut, most parents understand that we need to monitor our children’s screen time, but given how pervasive screens are in our daily life, limiting them is really hard. What makes it even harder is that, as you pointed out, it doesn’t produce immediate benefits. As a result, we can get frustrated, question why we’re trying in the first place, and simply give up rather than risk getting sucked into a knock-down-drag-out fight.
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Calming Chaos and Nurturing Your Child’s Developing Mind


Daniel Siegel, author of No-Drama Discipline.
Topic:
Calming the chaos and nurturing your child’s developing mind.
Issues: how to identify your discipline philosophy; best ways to communicate the lessons you want to teach; facts on brain development and what kind of discipline is appropriate for each age; how to calmly and lovingly connect with a child—no matter how extreme the behavior; navigating your child through tantrums; discipline mistakes we all make.

Understanding Worrisome Childhood Behavior


Bonny Forrest, author of Will My Kid Grow Out of It?
Topic:
A child psychologist’s guide to understanding worrisome behavior.
Issues: Common concerns and possible diagnoses; even babies get the blues; does my child have autism spectrum disorder? Does my child have ADHD? Sad or clinically depressed? Eating disorders; when to get help and whom to turn to.

Parenting in the Present Moment + Will My Kid Grow Out of It?

11/21/14

Carla Naumburg, author of Parenting in the Present Moment.
Topic:
How to stay focused on what really matters.
Issues: What truly matters in parenting (connecting with our children, staying grounded amidst the craziness of life; and being as present as possible); using mindfulness to create a solid foundation for any style of parenting.


Bonny Forrest, author of Will My Kid Grow Out of It?
Topic:
A child psychologist’s guide to understanding worrisome behavior.
Issues: Common concerns and possible diagnoses; even babies get the blues; does my child have autism spectrum disorder? Does my child have ADHD? Sad or clinically depressed? Eating disorders; when to get help and whom to turn to.

Is That Me Yelling? + The Sense and Nonsene of Alternative Medicine

Rona Renner, RN., author of Is that Me Yelling?
Topic:
Getting your kids to cooperate without losing your cool.
Issues: becoming aware of yourself; understanding everyday triggers; adapting your parenting style to your child’s temperament; dealing with the yeller in your family; dealing with difficult situations, disorders, and differences.


Paul Offit, author of Do You Believe in Magic?
Topic:
The sense and nonsense of alternative medicine.
Issues: What is “alternative medicine”?; megavitamins actually increase the risk of some cancers and heart disease (something well known to scientists but not to the general public); celebrity spokespeople (Like Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccine campaign) who have no medical background and are doing more damage than good; alternative medicine treatments that actually work.

Morality and Ethics + Drilling for Manood + Overcoming Perfectionism

[amazon asin=157912948X&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Michael Parker, author of Talk with Your Kids.
Topic:
Conversations about ethics and more.
Issues: Where do kids get their values? Why learning to think consciously about ethics is at least important to our children as academic learning; Conversation starters about honesty, friendships, sensitivity, fairness, dedication, and more; ground rules for conversations with your kids.


[amazon asin=1433680718&template=thumbleft&chan=default]John Croyle, author of The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood.
Topic:
A proven game plan for raising sons.
Issues: The seven actionable principles of M-A-N-H-O-O-D: Master, Ask and listen; Never compromise; Handle your business; One purpose; One body; Don’t ever give up.


[amazon asin=B00ERNVY88&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Ann W. Smith, author of Overcoming Perfectionism.
Topic:
Finding the key to balance and self-acceptance.
Issues: The key differences between overt and covert perfectionism; the role early attachment temperament, sibling relationships, and life circumstances play in develping patterns of perfectionism; how to create change and a more fulfilling life.