Parenting, Relationship

How I Responded to My Child’s Excessive Screen Time

Momma, don’t preach!

Contrary to what you’re thinking, I will not share ALL the details of my preaching towards my young teen daughter, Ocean.

She was born in this generation where mobile phones have become an extension of their hand.

Yes, that was the trigger – too much screen time.

Unlike the set up of “typical” families, ours is quite complicated.

I only get to see some of my kids on weekends.

With that said, it’s been difficult to follow through with rules (in general) especially when we only have them for the weekend.

But yes, it all started with cellphone use.

I found myself blabbering about “boundaries.”

I started with having boundaries on the screen time. I was making her realize that we only have a few days for one another, and yet she chose to spend most of her time in front of her phone.

This talk led to cellphone curfew, which she obviously disliked.

Next came the relationship boundaries, especially that there are boys who have expressed their admiration towards her.

One thing led to the other.

Then, I started talking about the effects of not having boundaries in one’s life.

I carelessly cited someone we both know as an example.

But this someone is an unchangeable part of Ocean’s life.

I was telling her that they (she and her siblings) are privileged to have parents who want to be actively involved in their lives.

Then, came the why’s and all the other questions (she’s a YOUNG teenager).

A particular question triggered me to be defensive.

The ending?

I slept tired of hearing myself repeat all these things over and over again.

It’s as if my words keep falling on deaf ears.

A Target to the Heart

Sunday came and it was time to attend Sunday service.

To my surprise, it was a very timely message that explained my uncalled-for response the night before.

Pastor Bong Saquing of Christ’s Commission Fellowship said,

Be intentional to live [without] expecting anything in return.

It struck me!

I realized that I reacted the way I did towards my teen daughter because I was expecting her to love me back.

You see, I grew up without really having someone to talk with, to share my heart with – my hurts and my pain.

Growing up, we only talked about the “good” things in my family – school, teachers, grades, competitor-classmates, and the like.

My mom was a busy woman. She was practically a single mother who raised us on her own since my dad has been based abroad since forever.

In my mind, I thought nobody really cared about me since nobody asked how I was.

At present, I felt that my desire to be involved in my child’s life would make things better for our family.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s NOTHING wrong with wanting to be an involved parent.

The issue was that I was expecting my daughter to fill my desire for LOVE.

I am thankful to the Lord for opening the eyes of my heart, for making me see what triggered my defensive reaction.

You may wonder…

Was the cellphone-use concern settled?

cell-phone.jpg

My fiance and I are currently discussing the parameters of cellphone use in our family.

We want to be fair and realistic, especially that we, my fiance and I, won’t be exempt from these rules that we would be imposing at home.

Modeling is crucial and what better way for the kids to learn how to do things but to model it to them, to make them see that it CAN be done.

We hope to finalize the rules this week so we can talk to the kids about these next weekend

It’s never too late.

With God, there is always a second chance, a fresh start.

With God, ALL things are possible.

Yes, Lord… Progress, NOT perfection.

To You be all the glory!

To the Lover of My Soul

Thank You, Jesus, that I don’t need to find love somewhere else.

Thank You that You love me as is where is, even if I get so annoying and frustrated.

Thank You for making me see where this annoyance is coming from so that I can deal with the root, and not only the manifestations.

Thank You for Your love, Oh, the Lover of my soul. MY Jesus.

How about you?

What cellphone rules have worked for you and your family so far? Please share them in the comments below and bless us with your wisdom. Thanks! ❤️️

P.S. This post is about a “preaching” I’ve had towards my teen daughter who had too much screen time. After hearing the Sunday service message at CCF, I realized what led me to react the way I did towards my daughter. Cellphone-use parameters are also underway to manage screen time.

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