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Reasons Not to Monitor Your Kids' Screen Time

do not limit screen time for teen

Parents can be so obsessed with worrying about the dangers of screens that they fail to notice the massive, overwhelming, obvious benefits of the internet.

I’m not a fan of limiting my kids’ screen time for the following reasons:

  • Screen time is not inherently “bad”. So much of screen time is deeply creative and engaging. Lumping all screen time together as all the same just doesn’t logically make sense. Winning Monument Valley or posting an original edit on Instagram help the brain practice solving problems and build social skills; they are not the same as passively watching South Park for the 40th time.
  • Limiting screen time is impractical, and it undermines real rules. Do you really want to have a timer on hand and keep track of exactly how ling you kid has been on screens all day? Can you even really do that consistently? It’s pretty likely that your kid goes over time on their screen time regularly and is learning that rules aren’t enforced and aren’t important.
  • It shows a lack of trust. Just like offline life, at the end of the day you need to show and develop trust with your kid. Spying on them and imposing arbitrary rules only undermines those ideas.

Instead of monitoring screen time, I prefer to just make sure my kids meet all their responsibilities (homework, eating dinner with the family, get outside at least a little) and then use as much screen time as they want.

So I was happy to come across this post to remind me that I’m not crazy.

👉 Here’s Why I Don’t Limit Screen Time or Monitor My Child’s Phone

There’s no surer way of telling your children you don’t trust them and don’t respect their personal boundaries than stalking them online.

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LetGrow – “Always helping our kids isn’t always helping them”

As a parent, I love Let Grow. They are saying that we need to do less for our kids. Step back, trust your kids, and let them figure some stuff out on their own. They will gain skills, true confidence, and inner strength. 💪🏻

Doing a little less for our kids is not negligent or lazy. It is a vote of confidence in them

👉 Let Grow

The winners in business, love, and life are comfortable with a bit of risk, and able to deal with disappointment (even the lack of a trophy). They listen, argue, work things out. They are open to change. They pivot.

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How to Raise Successful Kids

👉Time via Apple News

As a parent of two girls. this article from a mom who raised three very successful and (ostensibly) happy women immediately caught my eye. She lists five simple parenting principles. To my relief, they all fit nicely with my own ideas on raising my kids. ☺️

trust, respect, independence, collaboration, kindness

These all sound obvious. But many parents routinely (and with the best intentions) break the trust and undermine the respect and independence of their kids.

(It’s always fascinated me how baby talk, coddling, and strict discipline all go hand in hand. And none of these are on this list for making a strong, kind, happy adult.)

You may not care what I think as a parent, but I do suggest considering the ideas of this woman who raised two CEOs and a doctor. Her emphasis is big on kindness and independence and never about “getting ahead.”

What I wanted more than anything was to make them first into independent children and then into empowered, independent adults. I figured that if they could think on their own and make sound decisions, they could face any challenges that came their way.

What I’m offering… is an antidote to our parenting and teaching problems, a way to fight against the anxiety, discipline problems, power struggles, peer pressure and fear of technology that cloud our judgment and harm our children.

Esther Wojcicki
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Why It’s Better to Find Success Later in Life

👉 Why It’s Better to Find Success Later in Life

Nothing super groundbreaking in this article, but it’s a good refresher. Basically, you earn a certain amount of success, happiness, and confidence by failing and bouncing back over time.

This is a lot of how I look at parenting (hopefully) resilient kids…

…the best way to gain strength is by falling and continually bouncing back, practicing, working around obstacles. But this flexibility is critical to long-term success.

Fortunately, it’s easy to struggle. 😉 This makes me think of George Washington, who failed a lot. Like, he was pretty bad for quite a while before he became amazing.

You don’t need to go out of your way to struggle and stumble, because it will happen naturally to most of us. And many a great has failed before they bloomed.