They’re on their phone again! I hate that!!

Hands textingI hear this a LOT. I also hear, “they’re always checking their email, and texting – it’s like I’m not even there!” Does this sound familiar to you?

Well, guess what? These are teens talking about their parents. Kids who want to connect, talk in the car, hang out in silence next to their parents. But parents are checking email, picking up the call mid-sentence with a kid, texting at stoplights. These are kids who will be leaving the house in the next few years, and they are hungering for connection now.

I invite you to step up and talk with intimate others about what boundaries around phones/screens work for you all. This is a perfect opportunity to:

  • ¬†identify and share your own values and desires around screens/phones
  • model what effective parental leadership looks like
  • ¬†problem solve with kids about solutions – one to try for a week, and then try another, and work with the one that fits best
  • have some fun!

THe family can play around with ideas such as:

  • texting your ‘texting teen’ when you want to connect and they’re sitting right there: “hey, want to do something fun?!”
  • at meals, stack all phones in the middle of the table
  • put all electronics to sleep at night at the same time (eek, not my ipad?!?)
  • do something so fun together that phones/screens become irrelevant (roller coaster ride?)
  • everyone take the day off together, and go on an electricity-free picnic and outing

What works for your family?