11. How Should I Handle Screentime as a Parent?

Recently, a mom on Instagram messaged me about phones. She was afraid that her phone usage was getting out of hand, and felt bad for being frequently distracted in front of her children. I know I’ve been there, and I’m guessing you have too. It can be a struggle to find a balance between being present for your family and still using your phone when you need to.

To help with that, I want to provide you with three practical strategies that you can use to stay connected to the world, your family, and the normalcy of everyday life.

First, and maybe counterintuitively, I want you to schedule time for social media. This gives you something to look forward to, and a chance to relax on social media without feeling guilty. When the timer goes off, plug back into the real world.

If you’re like 80% of parents, you’re concerned about your own screen time. Tune in to #ParentingMatters to learn three techniques to balance screen time & family time. Click To Tweet

Second, do the opposite: schedule time to unplug. Commit to putting your phone on silent in a different room during a specific period each day so that you can unplug and be fully present with your family. (If you have a smart watch, put it away too!)

Finally, make it impossible to get on social media when you don’t need to be there. Apple has made it easy to set parameters to protect yourself from spending too much time on your phone, so enter those parameters then have your spouse or a friend lock these settings with a password that you don’t know. This way, you can’t override those restrictions.

I hope these tips are helpful! If you’re struggling to figure out what responsible limits for social media are, please feel free to reach out to me directly and I’ll give you some tips.

In This Episode:

[01:00] – Dr. B welcomes listeners to today’s show, and explains that today’s episode is about phones.

[02:29] – A lot of parents ask Dr. B about screen time, but usually in relation to their children rather than themselves.

[04:28] – We hear about a poll that Dr. B recently did of his audience.

[05:23] – Dr. B talks more about the problem with screen use, and the temptation to use phones all the time.

[07:09] – In today’s episode, you’ll learn about three strategies to stay connected to the world and your family. Dr. B explains the first of these strategies.

[08:28] – Dr. B explains the second strategy: schedule time to unplug.

[09:21] – We learn about Dr. B’s third strategy, which involves making it impossible to get on social media at certain times.

[10:36] – Dr. B shares his own exact restrictions on his phone, which involve both time restrictions and app restrictions.

[14:14] – Being completely locked out is what it takes for most people to be successful, Dr. B points out.

[15:08] – Dr. B explains that the way you see people portrayed online isn’t usually who they really are.

[16:18] – We hear a quick recap of Dr. B’s three tips for balancing screen time and being present.

“Look at how you’re connected with your family, and focus on that. At the end of the day, all of the social media stuff is totally fleeting.” - @DrPhilBoucher #parentingmatters Click To Tweet

Links and Resources:

Dr. Phil Boucher on Instagram

@DrPhilBoucher on Twitter

@DrPhilBoucher on Facebook

Present and Productive Parents with Dr. Phil Boucher Group on Facebook

Dr. Phil Boucher

podcast@drb.show

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Are you spending enough attentive, phone-free time with your family? If not, you’re not alone! Episode 11 of #ParentingMatters helps you learn how to strike a healthy balance (without giving up social media). Click To Tweet

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