Following up on last week’s discussion of “screen addictions, I had an informative conversation with young Jake, a recently turned 9 year old.
Schooling me on how screen usage goes in his house, Jake offered me a few pointers.
“My mom sets a strict limit,” Jake said. “There’s no more than two hours a day. That’s it.”
“Wow,” I responded. “And you are ok with that?”
“At first I was upset,” Jake said. “I thought it was unfair. None of my friends had time limits set on their game systems, but my mom explained it to me.”
“What did she say to you,” I asked this wise little man.
“She said that lots of kids get addicted to these game systems and they don’t want to do anything else but play games like Fortnite or go on TikTok and YouTube. She said she wasn’t going to let that happen to me and that I had to find other stuff to do.”
“How did that work out?”
“For about a week I cried a lot and tried to get her to stop, but she ignored me and after a while I started doing other stuff – you know like shooting baskets outside, riding my bike, building things – stuff like that. I even read a book – a science fiction one that was really cool.”
I was so stunned that at this point in the conversation that Jake had to almost pick me up off the floor.
Gaining my composure, I asked, “So, this is what you think other moms should do?”
“Yep, my friends are a bunch of idiots who do nothing else. I will be killing them in basketball if they ever come out from the basement.”
There you have it, parents. Jake is giving us the answer pretty straightforwardly.
It may be a rough ride for a while, but Jake is telling us that you need to buck up, steel your nerve and set the limits.
There will be a lot of wailing, moaning and teeth gnashing as your child goes through withdrawal, but as the saying goes, “This too shall pass.”
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