By Bronwyn Ison
When it happened I couldn’t believe my own ears. I recognized I was prefacing my childhood stories to my daughters as, “when I was little girl…” Yes, when I was a little girl life was very different. If you are a parent to a tween or teen or a grandparent to someone in this age group you will be able to relate. The constant need and desire for constant stimulation and instant gratification is exponential.
As a parent to two tween daughters I must say their endless need to be entertained by a hand held device frightens me. I am certain this does not sit well with me and it may not with you either. Once I recognized a potential dependency of the device I knew I had to take action. Parents and grandparents I understand it is not easy to accept the repercussions of taking their phone away from them. I was beginning to feel hostage to my daughter’s iPhone. If I had my druthers I would have never allowed the phones in the first place. That is another story. Needless to say, I knew had to take action. It was time to set boundaries as to when and how much time they could use their devices. While I knew this may be challenging, it was necessary.
Having strong social skills is and will continue to be an essential part of life. Without strong communication skills life in the future may be challenging when it comes to having a job and working with others. One will still need to work face-to-face with people.
Each family will need to establish which kinds of boundaries are necessary for their lifestyle. Here are few ideas that may be a good starting point to share with your children or grandchildren.
*Have a conversation with your child. Share with them, you are not being cruel or punishing them, but you are simply setting times and days of which they can use the phone or any other device.
*Set days and times of which they can use their phone. Be consistent and firm with your ground rules.
*Encourage them to read, color, or play a game instead of using their phone.
*The phone should be in your possession when they go to bed at night.
*Refrain from having the phone at the dinner table. Explain and share that you would like to learn more about their day and have family time during your meal.
*Avoid letting them use their phone in the car. Encourage conversation or enjoy the scenery.
These are just a few hints and suggestions. Since establishing boundaries with my daughters relating to how often they may use the phone, it has relieved a lot of stress. They respect the rules. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but eventually it became a part of our regular routine. Best of luck to you!
Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. www.e-volveyoga.com 760-564-YOGA