Do you feel as if you’re going insane at the moment? Being in lockdown with kids has all sorts of challenges associated with it but one of the particular difficulties is managing screens when children need them for school work and want to be on them for leisure and social contact as well. Do we have to throw out the window the previous guidelines we had about moderating screen usage?
Victoria Markou is a parenting coach and a mum of two teenage boys who is facing these issues day to day and is making it work for her family.
Listen to this episode with Victoria if you want to learn:
- How you may have to a different approach to your children according to age but also because of their different temperaments and interests
- How trust can be the basis of screen-regulation when there is real connection between parent and child - how self-regulation begins but does not end with parental regulation
- What happens when parents try to control and coerce
- How cooling down routines around screen-withdrawal and getting to sleep matter as much for teens as for younger children
- That kids also need rules to help them regulate themselves when they can’t yet manage the impulse to be on screens
- That it’s ok to change your rules as circumstances require
- That hard and fast rules will never work unless parents understand their kids’ motivations and needs
- How boundaries can be firm while empathising with the kids for wanting more
- About the importance of what parents are modelling around screen use
- How families can have sharing experiences through technology
- How we need to recognise that social contact is only really possible through tech at the moment
- The importance of getting involved and understanding what screen interests your children have and how it can be a way to engage in your child’s world rather than being dismissive of their interests
- How you can engage as a family offline. Top tip: get a dog! You might like to try ‘2 o’clock docs’ as well
- How family solutions are usually found by trial and error and there is no one correct answer
- How to get your kids involved in clearing out spaces and cooking
- That when there is trust present you don’t need to spy on your kids but they are ok with some supervision
- How important it is to see things from your child’s perspective around screens
- Why it matters to explain your values to your children and get their input on what the rules should look like
- How you can use family meetings to help work out issues and find solutions in the family and along the way learn skills like negotiating and compromise
And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some surprising uplifting moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Victoria shares how much she has enjoyed the lack of rushing about since lockdown and cherished the simple things like Friday family movie night. She’s also found that her very different sons have had to work out stuff between them because there is nowhere else to go!