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Why you should connect with your child over screen time

“I want you to have your screen time, and I want you to enjoy it!” Few parents have ever said this to their children, yet this sentiment paves the way to success around screen time.  Most of us have been inundated with the horror stories of screen time gone awry and so we naturally point out all the dangers and shortcomings of screen time to our kids. This perspective drives a wedge between parents and children, leading to conflict and a lack of trust. The end result is that when a child runs into problems online, they may not seek support from their parents. This is when kids can get themselves into trouble.

Instead, bond with your child over screen time.  Your child’s online life is incredibly important to them - find out why and share in their enjoyment.  

Here are 3 easy tips to stay connected: 

  1. Play Together: “Hey love, tell me about that game you're playing. It looks fun!”  Watch your child’s jaw drop as you sit down next to them and ask for a tour of their favorite game. Ask questions. Spend some time playing the game together. Try to hold back your judgments and remember we all have guilty pleasures :).
  2. Encourage Enjoyment of Screen Time: “Go watch your Netflix shows and enjoy them!” Tell your kids daily that you hope they enjoy their time online.  Remember, we enjoy ours!  
  3. Express Tech Positivity: “Look at all the amazing things screens have to offer!” Point out and discuss the myriad of benefits of the online world.  Think GPS, Googling interesting topics, Harry Potter (aka entertainment), FaceTiming grandma in another state, etc.

When you take this stance, your child sees that you don’t judge them for liking to be online, which minimizes conflict and maintains trust. 
NOW… this stance does not mean you let your child do whatever they want online, or be online for as much time as they please.  No.  You can connect with your child and still hold screen time limits to ensure their health and safety.  Here’s what that sounds like: “I want you to have and enjoy your screen time...and it is my job to make sure you stay healthy and safe with your screen time too.”  

Navigating screen time with children is tough for most parents. If you need some extra help setting up an effective plan and/or teaching your child the skills needed for healthy and responsible screen time, we invite you to learn more about our program. We got you covered! 

Sign up for our newsletter to get healthy screen time insights and tips from clinical psychologist, Dr. Demi Rhine.  

About Beyond Limits Academy

Beyond Limits is a simple step-by-step online program that teaches parents and preteens how to prepare for a lifetime of safe and healthy technology use. Going beyond just screen time limits, our skills-based approach provides a clear roadmap that reduces conflict and sets children up to manage their own tech use independently and responsibly. In an increasingly digital world, preparing our children to use technology wisely is no longer an option . . . it's a necessity.


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