People constantly come up to us at restaurants and marvel at how our kids are not on devices for an entire meal. This has been an important value for our family culture. We want to make the MOST of the time we have together. For kids, I really do believe its about QUALITY versus quantity. Here are five things you can do to begin creating a media-less existence…..
1. Start by saying no to the iPhone. When you first begin doing this, of course your child will protest; their drug is being taken away. Brace yourself for a transition period and have a strategy ready. If you are resolved internally and ready for the fall-out, they will get on board more quickly. Here are some strategies:
* Tell your child BEFORE you enter a situation where the iPhone will be requested. ”In the past, I let you have the phone when we’re in the market. But we’re not doing that any longer. I would like to visit with you while we shop together.” CHILD WAILS & PROTESTS ”I know, it’s hard when things change. You really love playing games on the phone. But we aren’t doing that anymore.” REPEAT KINDLY AND FIRMLY SO THE CHILD KNOWS THERE IS NO CHANCE OF YOU CAVING. It’s probably best to resolve these feelings before entering the market. Let the child take his time in calming down. Don’t invalidate his feelings by trying to rush him along, distract him, or tell him he shouldn’t be so upset. Let the feelings come out so he can be purged of them. Eventually, he will move on to being interested in something else.
*Tell yourself that this transition period WILL END. It will, I promise. Children are very adaptable and if they sense that you are committed to this change, they’ill get on board quickly. Be prepared for a week of challenge, and probably another week of needed reinforcement. Theyill stop asking for the phone before you know it. Our fear of change and the resulting tantrums are often much much worse that the reality once we’re committed to the outcome. Your inner resolve is what’s really important.