Yesterday, our kids were dressing up in princess costumes and digging in the sandbox. Today, they are standing in front of their mirrors taking selfies to build their personal brands on social media or spending hours in darkened rooms playing video games. They’re lost in an adult virtual world, obsessed with video games and smartphones.
As a result, kids have become more stressed, anxious, and depressed. And families are being pulled apart.
How did we get here?
The addictive nature of entertainment screens has rapidly outpaced the ability of our children’s brains to turn them off, let alone balance their usage. Video games and social media have outsmarted parents too. Parents are caught in the middle of a societal dilemma. We don’t want our kids to be seen as outsiders because they don’t have enough technology, yet we have a responsibility to protect our children from their devices. Exhausted parents are giving in. Feeling powerless, they hand over games and phones to their kids without knowing they have a choice.
Our kids are getting hurt and we have to fix it.
That’s why we developed the ScreenStrong™ program. A ScreenStrong lifestyle is about keeping the benefits and delaying the harm of technology. Practically, this means that you hit the pause button on personal screens (such as video games, social media, and smartphones) in your kids’ lives. And it’s much easier than you think.
If your kids are obsessed with their screens, they need to be rescued from their virtual worlds. Now. By you. Your children need you to guard them, to minimize the stress in their lives, and guide them to reach their highest potential. Your child needs you to not be afraid to go against the “digital culture.”
What your family needs can be summed up in two words: screen balance.
- Balance screen use by keeping the benefits of screens, but getting rid of the problems.
- Don’t have screen conflicts and symptoms of screen addiction in their homes.
- Often experience increased family attachment that outshines their child’s attachment to his screen.
- Have a family culture that is bolder than the screen culture allowed in their home.
- Don’t experience the stress, anxiety, anger, and detachment that often comes from entertainment screen usage.
And the good news is that we believe every family can be ScreenStrong. We also believe it’s not too late. For some families, ScreenStrong looks like prevention measures. For other families, it means breaking addictive habits. It includes delaying addictive video games and using our approved basic phone* instead of a smartphone. Sometimes breaking addiction requires professional help, but the freedom on the other side is worth the effort. It’s worth the time. It’s worth rethinking devices and tech use now so that you can reclaim your family and prevent even more problems in the future.
So, what does a ScreenStrong family look like? It looks like a family who believes in connection with one another more than connection with a device.
Remember, childhood only happens once. Let’s give our children a foundation that will prepare them well for the rest of their lives.
Are you ready to hit the pause button on addictive entertainment screens? You’re invited to be a ScreenStrong family. The first step is to read our book “The Screen Strong Solution: How to Free Your Child from Addictive Screen Habits.” Click here to take the first step in becoming ScreenStrong today!
P.S. — We all know there is strength in community, so read the book with your friends. Order extra copies and give them as gifts. Get other parents on board and working together, so that we can create ScreenStrong communities!
Melanie Hempe, BSN, is the founder and executive director of ScreenStrong, a national nonprofit organization that offers a countercultural approach to eliminate childhood screen dependency, but one that just might save your kids. Melanie has developed cutting-edge programs that empower parents to pause video games and social media for kids and teens through late adolescence. Her three books can be found on Amazon: Will Your Gamer Survive College?, Can Your Teen Survive—and Thrive—Without a Smartphone? and The ScreenStrong Solution: How to free your child from addictive screen habits.
ScreenStrong is committed to rescuing this screen-driven generation, one family at a time.
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