The persistent nature of children manipulating their parents into working their way into additional screen time, through the declaration, “Just five more minutes.” The courteous “please and thank you”, nowhere to be found.
I ___________________________________ pledge to fully adhere to the screen time (expectation) given, as set by my adoring and caring parents, who are the experts on themselves, experts on our family, and experts on me. The gatekeepers and guides of my family deserve my respect and faithfulness to the guidelines established.
- Ready yourself to reflect on the expectation and remind yourself of your role in the family constellation.
- Responsibility for your choices is yours and yours alone. What outcomes do you want to occur? For example, following the expectation may result in increased screen time for good behaviour or pushing the limit may result in arguing and loss of screen time privilege.
- Check in with your parents about the expectation in order to ensure that you are on the same page and speaking the same language. This will help to avoid assumptions, deal with changes in the routine and serve to remove any possible surprises.
- Find your portable clock (assuming you have one) and check that its battery is working and set an interval reminder, as you approach the cut off point.This will help safeguard compliance and ensure that you are not late for dinner, appointments, extra curricular activities and so forth.
- Prepare for considering getting off the game or computer a little earlier.This may help your cause and lead to increased time next time because of trust and reliability demonstrated.
- Review what your ultimate goal is. That is, do you want to show responsibility? If so, then you know what is expected. If not, take your chances and potentially loose the privilege for an indefinite period of time.
- Consider where you do you work and play. For example, doing it in an open, neutral space, as opposed to behind your bedroom door. Optics is important to gaining trust, privileges and space.
- Reflect on your priorities and decide what needs your immediate attention prior to going online.
- Now that you are ready to play, before commencing the set activity, have your tools at your side. In particular, guarantee the effective placement of your clock or timer to keep you on pace.
- Reflect each and every time you sit down what the game plan is and how you want the experience to end.
- Practice daily follow through of the expectations of your usage.Visualize how you anticipate things going and allow yourself to enjoy and have fun with the time you have been granted.
- The activity of playing will go a lot better when you do not deviate from the program. As a result, you may find yourself earning additional playtime based on your cooperation level and going with the flow.
- Consistently strive to be consistent with your effort to adhere to the time frame.
- Ensure that you do not delay, request additional time or that you stall when your time is up. This requires your daily attention.
- Attempt to finish up early on occasion. This tactic will demonstrate to your parents that you are responsible and can be counted on to make good decisions. You may find that you are the recipient of new privileges, both related and non-related to the activity of the moment.
- As long as you are playing, kindly leave the work area in the same condition that you found it. This attention to detail will show your parents that you are thinking about more than just yourself. You will be viewed as a team player.
The limits imposed by our loving parents are the structure we need in order to take good risks in life. Without these expectations, we fail to launch and our insecurities and low self-esteem continue to dictate our actions or lack of actions. Limits can be viewed as love, an essential ingredient in our ability to believe in ourselves. Another way to understand this belief system is appreciate that every child deserves and wants to know where the line in the sand is located.
This foundation removes ambiguity and replaces it with a certainty that is clear and objective. While children will seek to test the limits (healthy expression), they will come to discover that through consistent parental reinforcement, focusing on what is important becomes the habitual norm. As such, individual drive and motivation can blossom in so many unanticipated and wonderful ways because the underlying foundation has been nurtured, valued and strengthened routinely. Please and thank you can no live and thrive.
I am the proud owner of a set of guiding principles. Possessing these life values are greater than merely working the clock for 5 more minutes. They collectively represent my capacity to conform, cooperate and display responsibility to the house rules. This accomplishment will serve me well both short-term and long-term, as the lessons learned will be applied in other, yet to be determined settings.