Dear Guitar Student Parent,
The Guardian newspaper recently reported that late night texting, calling and media consumption is associated with poor sleep (duh!) and also “depressed moods and declines in self-esteem and coping ability” for kids and teens. In fact, the mere presence of a screen in a bedroom is associated with poorer sleep and mental health, even when kids report not using it.
Yet over 70% of kids and 80% of teens have unrestricted access to their phones at night.
That isn’t surprising, because screens are ubiquitous. Kids don’t just use them for games and entertainment–they use them for connecting with friends, doing homework–even as alarm clocks. So, how can we help our kids use screens in a healthy way?
In this article, I’ll share with you my incredibly simple method of helping my 11, 14 and 17 year old kids keep screens out of their rooms at night. Even more importantly, I’ll share with you why I think it works!
- “Sorry, I fell asleep with it in the room.” (OUTCOME: Night follows day, phone disappears for the day.)
- “But I’m going to my friend’s house after school, I NEED my phone to get in touch with you. I need it to be safe! Don’t you care about my safety?” (OUTCOME: Night follows day, phone disappears for the day.)
- “This rule is stupid–no other parent does this!”/”But I need it for my homework.”/ “Etc.” (OUTCOME: Night follows day, phone disappears for the day.)