Screens are a popular scapegoat in mainstream parenting culture.
People often just want a reason beyond their own actions to blame.
So when a child is considered to be too distracted or too angry or too frustrated; screens are targeted.
If they aren’t sleeping enough or eating well or maintaining hygiene to the parental standards; screens are targeted.
If basically anything is confronting the adult about the child’s “behaviour”; screens are targeted.
Screens are an easy answer. Screens are an easy fix.
Remove screens. Remove the problem. What a relief.
But what if you didn’t want to compromise your morality and enact controlling measures on another human being?
What if controlling them in the first place was the actual catalyst to what you are experiencing now?
What if you decided to stop blaming screens for everything that isn’t comfortable in your life?
What if you actually did the work to process your conditioning, repair your relationships and problem solve any residual conflict together?
Instead of sweeping all those uncomfortable feelings under the carpet with the tablet and TV?
Oh but screens are addictive! It’s a different kind of control, a kind type of control.
But riddle me this; if screens were inherently addictive, wouldn’t everybody be addicted? They’re enjoyable, yes but addictive is different.
Addictive implies a negative impact on your life and most children’s use is negatively impacting their parent’s lives rather than their own. And that is not the child’s responsibility to resolve alone.
Addiction is a symptom of disconnection, of trauma; it is more about what is happening within the person and their circumstances than the object of their relief.
Removing the options, controlling the circumstances doesn’t address the root cause, it’s a band aid in water that will likely see the person transfer their escapism elsewhere rather then process their needs. It keeps them trapped in conflict.
And being the person to control? Changes completely the dynamic of your relationship, it furthers the disconnect which is the complete opposite of what a person who is struggling needs.
If something is causing issues within that person’s own life then they can recognise this with love. And when they want things to be different, then that could be worked through with that person consensually.
If you are concerned, it can feel awful to do nothing but you can do something other than control. You could join them. Observe and hear what they are experiencing. Explore it together. Understand the appeal. Connect.
Doing this will make very clear what is most important. And how control would only destroy those priorities and resolve nothing.
We do not limit screens. We do not limit connection.