Failing Motherhood

*NO JUDGEMENT* Guide to Screen Time: Part 2

July 12, 2022 Danielle Bettmann | Wholeheartedly Episode 72
Failing Motherhood
*NO JUDGEMENT* Guide to Screen Time: Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

You don't need more reasons to feel guilty for using screens.
You need insight so you feel confident that when you do use them, it's WITHOUT guilt.

In 2022, technology is a TOOL to use while parenting.  I am here to help you make confident decisions about what's best for your kids and your family!

If screen time is affecting your relationship with your strong-willed child, take the action I recommend in this series to reduce the power struggles for good.

In Part 2 of this 2 part screen time series, I address...

  • How to transition off screens without a meltdown
  • How to reduce dependency on screens if that’s one of your goals
  • Why kids become obsessed with video games and why it might not be as bad as we might think


Included in this episode, I share what to say when turning the TV off that will gain cooperation, alternatives to screen time that don't disrupt your entire routine, and a resource if you are already struggling with video games at your house.

// Mentioned in the episode //
Spotify Premium - Family
Big Life Kids Podcast
Story Pirates Podcast
Audiobooks: Libby App - (log in with your library card)
Healthy Gamer GG  - Youtube Channel
Course  - Healthy Gamer Action Plan

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Danielle Bettmann:

Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood? I mean, have too much anxiety. Not enough patience. Too much yelling, not enough play. There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. This is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is failing motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend. We're so glad you're here. Hey, it's Danielle. Welcome back. So glad you're here. We are diving in today to your no judgement guide to screentime part two. If you missed part one, go back and listen to that it was two weeks ago, actually had this episode completely finished and uploaded to my hosting platform. And then I realized that I hadn't told you guys about my new free resource that I just shared on Instagram last week. So I am re editing this and adding it in. And if you do not follow me on Instagram or you're not on Instagram, go find me right now. But for those of you that missed it, I have a new resource. It's called Extreme Makeover patients edition. And it is all about the tools that I use with my clients to help them sort through their triggers, figure out new coping mechanisms. Find new awareness on what is actually going on in my brain in these moments. Why do I lose it so quickly? Why does this bother me so much, and find absolutely new ways to move forward and have tangible next steps. Now, it's like a diagnostic tool that helps you find self compassion helps you identify the deeper root of this ongoing struggle and allow you to tap into patience that you just didn't know you had. It includes journal prompts to discover what is holding you back common challenges that you didn't realize were limiting you and ways to rewrite the story that you are telling yourself in some of those hardest moments. It allows you to assess your capacity, audit your thoughts and master new tools to gain composure. I'm telling you keeping your composure as a parent is a skill set, likely one that wasn't modeled well for you or explicitly taught in any way. Overriding your instincts under stress is hard. The first step is awareness, then acceptance, and then action. When you realize what's really going on, in some of your worst moments, then you have the insight you need to choose differently next time. Without it, you're just doomed to repeat the same vicious cycle over and over and over until your child is parenting the same way you do now. You are not a bad parent. Parenting a strong willed child is a lot. Of course you get overwhelmed, you just need more tools. So download this free guide called Extreme Makeover patience edition. And never look at your patients the same way again, go to parenting wholeheartedly.com/patients or click the link in the show notes. I'm also doing something super crazy. And I'm opening wholeheartedly calm up again. So the last time it opened was May 1, and that group is currently finishing up their 11 weeks this week. And I just can't wait until September to get more parents into this program because all of the powerful feedback and the stories and examples that the current parents are sharing and I just really hate the whole idea of like launches and making this big deal and making my timing work for you. I would much rather it be that you seek out the support when If you need it most, and it makes the most sense for your family, when you have the capacity for it, when you have the urge to know that it's now or never, I want it to be there for you, I want it to be open, I want it to be ready to serve you and support you as soon as possible. So for that to be the case, I am just going to keep this party going and keep offering these live q&a calls every single week moving forward. And when it is the right fit for you, you just let me know, you just send me that message on Instagram that says calm. And that way, I can ask you a few questions to make sure that we are the right fit to work together and that I can support your family. And then I'll share more details from there. So whenever you're listening to this wholeheartedly calm is now an option for you, there is a special incentive for the first three families that sign up right now they will save $500. So if that's you and you're listening to this on the day it comes out, do not hesitate. But for the rest of you moving forward, just know that it's on the table. Because improving your patience is only one piece of the puzzle. If you tend to jump between discipline strategies, and none of them are really working. If you collect parenting information like Pokeyman cards, and it never seems to translate to work in the moment. And if you are ready to make peace with the temper that you didn't know you had, then join wholeheartedly calm. In this 11 week group, I will help you understand your strong willed child in a whole new way. Rethink discipline completely. Find new tools that work with them, not against them. problem, solve your unique pain points and find new solutions. And ultimately, transform your relationship with your strong willed child with no guilt, no shame, no judgment, just growth. If you even a little bit curious about how that works and have some hesitations, either about the investment or about being in a group program. Or wondering if your partner can join or all the other semantics that go into making this decision. Just send me that first message that says calm and I will take it from there with no obligation. I don't buy a promise. Hey, it's Danielle. I'm so glad you're back for your no judgement guide to screentime part two. And before I get into that, I need to tell you, I don't put a lot of personal updates into the podcast episodes sometimes because I'm not sure when they're going to air and I'm recording things ahead of time. But I did just finish the finale of This Is Us my most favorite show in the entire world. And I will admit, a lot of the last season was very rushed. And you know, there's different things that they could have done to add in more things or more elements from other people's stories, but it was so great. And at the end of the episode, I was reading a Reddit thread about what other people think. And I always do this whenever I finish a new TV series, I go to Reddit, and it's the only thing I use Reddit for but I go into like the specific thread for that episode and I just hear what other people's thoughts were because it creates like this feeling of like I'm not alone. I love the community aspect around hearing just other people's thoughts about what they thought of the episode or, or their thoughts about the finale. And like somehow creates closure for me. So I was doing that. And one of the comments really struck me where it was like I feel like the show you know really puts Rebecca the mom on a pedestal and you know that there was such great her and Jack are such great parents but yet their kids ended up with substance abuse addiction, leading to therapy and eating disorder. And you know, all this trauma down the road. And it really did make me think because I was responding to the episode being like, Oh man, my marriage isn't as strong as theirs was and my parenting is isn't as good as hers was and just like you know, feeling all the could have should have whatevs comparisons and you know, we're so narcissistic. We're like, how does this apply to me? What can I learn from this show? And I realized when that when that person shared that I was like, Yeah, you know, you can be as good of a parent as Rebecca Pearson and you still cannot completely control or prevent or dictate your kids is life down the road. 3040 50 years heater. And that's the part that sucks about parenting is it your only one variable, we are a huge influence. But we are not the end all be all control or have their life for good and bad. And that's sucks because we want to be able to set them up for so much success while at the same time. Inevitably, they learn through their own life decisions, they have their own voice, they go through ups and downs, inevitable hardship as well. And that's so hard to watch as a parent. So knowing that you have the least amount of regrets as possible during the years that you know, are really core to their brain development is really the best thing you can do to give yourself some clarity and confidence because otherwise, you're just constantly stuck in the insecurity of I'm not good enough for my child, and I don't know what I'm doing. And I'm throwing spaghetti at a wall hoping for some sort of good human at the end. And there still is no guarantees for that you can be the best parent in the world. You truly can. And I don't think there is a perfect parent out there. Absolutely not. But I am not it. I just shared on my Instagram stories actually this morning that I came downstairs to work and my daughter slipped a letter underneath my door that said You're so mean I hate you. So winning as a parent. But inevitably, we are going to have to watch our kids grow up and walk away from us and hopefully want to continue to include us in their lives. So that's why we're talking about things like screen time, so that we can feel a little bit better about how we're doing feel educated to feel more secure in our decisions and know ultimately, we are the one that knows them best. And there's constantly new technology and new things to keep up on, we're always going to feel behind, we're always going to feel like we don't have it all together. And accepting that is definitely one huge part of our mindset. So I'm going to dive in now to screen time part two. If you missed it, go back and watch the no judgment guide to screen time part one, where we talked about three things to consider when deciding to use screens. The screen time boundary and limit I recommend, and why your child seems obsessed with asking for screens, how you're inadvertently reinforcing it and what to do about it. If that was valuable, let me know on Instagram, I am at parent underscore wholeheartedly. And today, we are going to be talking about how to transition off of screens without a meltdown. How to reduce dependency on screens, if that is one of your goals, and address why kids become obsessed with video games and why it might not be such a bad thing. So number one how to transition off of screens without a meltdown. Now the backstory here that we need to understand is that we all tend to get into kind of a trance like state when watching or on a screen, especially if our blood sugar is low, or it's getting close to bedtime anyway, or if the show or game itself is very fast paced or stimulating. A quick change to turn it off creates an abrupt transition in our brainwaves and in the state of our mind. So we want to be able to stretch out that transition and help them acclimate back to real life. So before you turn on a screen, agree together, when it's going to get turned off before it gets turned on. So you know decide together if that's one episode, or if it's at a certain time, or you know, before we have to leave or whatever that agreement is, then as that episode is wrapping up, or as it's approaching that time, ask a question about the show while they are still watching. Anything about a character you're curious about or what's happening at that moment in the show. Follow up their answer with that quick reminder of Okay, remember when this episode is over, we're gonna have to go you know, we're gonna turn it off. Then in one more minute, ask another question about the show itself or that episode. Something that's a little bit broader, less about the innate details of that exact episode but more about the show itself or how watching was showing that interest is helping them connect to you and helping them also zoom out from being so hyper focused and stimulated by that show. To be able to literally gear down or click out of that trans thinking about your question and then being able to answer it and kind of coming back to real life kind of in the way that you wake yourself up out of a meditation or Shavasana. And in yoga, you have to be able to kind of ease out of that trance in a more gentle way. So the two questions leading up to the transition, help do that and lay the framework for you to then be able to guide the transition of Oh, wow, that was such a good episode, you love that show. And let them know, it's time to move on, while also validating what they are trying to say. Because when you don't give them the space to feel heard, and to get their message across, they feel like they have no choice but to escalate that message. So say for them what they would be trying to say, or say things that they would agree with, so that they say, exactly. So that's when you would say, oh, man, that went so fast. I bet you could watch 18 More episodes, how many do you think you could watch without getting bored of this show? Wow, that's so many. I wish that we could just stop time and keep watching, right? And then when they agree with you say, oh, man, can you invent that button that just stops the clock, please, that would be so great. Well, it is time for bed, would you rather jump up the stairs or have me give you will piggyback grade. So you're gonna do that segue of, here's all the things that I agree with you I am on your team. I am over here, wishing that you had all the TV time in the world as well. And it is time to move on your options right now are A or B. And if they pick C, it's fine, as long as it is also a win win option that gets the end goal done. So to wrap up, that is agree beforehand, when it's going to get turned off. Then as it's finishing, ask two questions while they're still watching, to help click their brain back into gear, and then transition with validating their love for it, and how you're on their team of wishing they could have more, while also transitioning into the choice they have right now have two ways to move forward and get done what needs to get done. Neither one of those are watching more TV. But then being able to offer them the yes of when is the next time, they'll know when they can watch TV and recover that in screentime. Part one, when it's unpredictable, then they feel like they have to beg or whine for it. And instead if you just let them know, no matter when it is they will feel much better about giving you back that power over the next Yes. So that is number one, transitioning off of screens without a meltdown. Number two, how to reduce the dependency on screens. If if that is one of your goals. Again, we talked about in the first episode, that screen time is much more of a lost opportunity cost decision. And there are so many seasons and phases where there is no better option because you are sick, because you have a new baby because there is you're in quarantine, there's a million good reasons when screen time is the best option of what they can do. But if you are in a season of life where you feel like you're easing out of one of those phases, and you've developed a lot of bad habits, or you just feel like there are more things that you want to be including into your week or your day, like time for special time or like time for a family meeting or you know, walks outside or something else. And you're trying to figure out how do we lessen the habits and the dependency we've created on screens, that's when you're going to do some of these things that I'm recommending next. So only if it's one of your goals. Now, the alternatives to screens is something that meets the same goal of that transition or that time period in your day. Now you can totally just like rip the band aid and like one of my clients did recently where they said, No more screens before bed between dinner and bed. Instead we are going to go on a family walk or we're going to have a special time and split up. You could do that just brace yourself if that is going to be your one focus for now. And it's going to take a lot of energy and consistency on your part to carry that out. But that's great if you have that goal and you have the energy to carry that out. If instead you are wanting to keep things as quote unquote normal in your day to day routine, but just have something else to sub in to Have less screen time hours, that's when you're gonna want to find one of these alternatives, which is using podcasts, music or audiobooks instead. So, one of the things that we started doing or that I recommended to a couple other clients as well is getting out of the habit of right when you come home from school turning on a screen. So they still needed to as a parent, start cooking dinner, take care of some other chores, you know, go through the day to day thing of getting home from work, but they didn't want to turn on the TV right away. What could they do instead, they could hold the kids attention, while keeping everyone quiet, keeping big emotions from the point of escalation after school at bay, and eliminate the opportunity for sibling squabbles. By putting on a ongoing series of podcasts or listening to or the next chapter of an audio book that you are listening to as a family. Of course, you can always start playing that in the car, on commutes. If you want to decrease the dependency on maybe the screen you have in your car, or other things that are causing problems. And those moments turning on that audiobook or podcast will create instant peace, because everyone needs to be quiet and listen. And that's not the time that they want to be talking about their day anyway. So the last opportunity cost there is a great because you're allowing them the opportunity to learn new vocabulary and you know, create other learning educational opportunities from that content. So as a family, we recently subscribed to Spotify Premium, the family option with accounts that set up kids profiles. So it's a separate app even that's called Spotify kids, where we can set up profiles for them that are dictated by their age. And then they can curate their own playlist full of approved music, and podcast episodes. And that has been a game changer because they can search their favorite movie soundtracks, they can find other TV show theme songs, they can find new podcasts that are just on Spotify, I think my daughter is obsessed with this new one called Garden keeper Gus. So that has been great, my Strongwell daughter. Now keep in mind, she's she's already eight, but she will clean her room, she will fold her laundry, she will shower. Pretty much anything I want her to do, as long as I let her listen to her music or her playlist. And she recently got a little Bluetooth speaker and put it in the shower. And she will stay in there for hours. And so when in doubt, turn on music, it really shifts the mood of the day turning on even just a good playlist in the background. When you're trying to shut the TV app will help regulate everyone's moods and vibes to however you want to create that vibe whether that is upbeat or whether it is very calming. use music to your advantage. So I'll link the Spotify family option in the show notes as well as a couple of our favorite podcasts. We have loved the big life kids podcast. We've also love story pirates. But share with me on Instagram another favorite that you have at your house. There are so many good ones. For audiobooks, you can sign up for the Libby app, I'll link that in the show notes as well, where you log in with your library card, and then you can rent audiobooks, and play those and then you can have them for like 14 or 21 days. And it's just like Audible, but it's free. And that has where we have found some of the books that we've loved to listen to as a family like Mr. Popper's Penguins are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm telling you, that will be such a game changer when you switch your routine just from screens or an option to an audiobook or just listening only options. The other tip I have for decreasing the dependency is just creating some of those blocks that really support you and your routine where your kids understand again, those boundaries that we talked about from part one of we have no screens before school or no screens after dinner and some of those rules can really set you up for success. But then having a meanwhile activity can also be really helpful. And that's just what I call the current toy option or project that is out and available at all times. For them to be able to gravitate towards when there is a transition, like getting home from school or getting to Then with dinner before everyone else does, or having some time between bath and bed, where they don't know what to do instead. And they just want to be entertained. Having a meanwhile activity means that you just have their little art table in the living room that has something on it that they can do that you point them to is that redirection tool, because so often their brain is just like, I don't know what to do. So I just go back to my old trusty option, or I'm just so fixated on what I want, instead of what I can have, I don't even know what to do instead. So giving them some two options to choose from, oh, you still have your stickers out on your art table, you can go do that. Or you can go you know, plate magnet tiles on the fridge. And the if those options are kind of seasonally rotated, where it's just the thing that's out this week, that can be kind of the meanwhile activity and then you put it away after a couple days and you get something else out and keep it out during and then that can be the transition option. For my daughters, it's usually whatever's been out on the dinner and dining room table. Or we always have Legos that live in kind of a formal living room. And we can point them to that if they need something to do in between. Lastly, I have one thing to say about video games. Hey, if you're new here, I'm Danielle. My company Wholeheartedly offers one on one and group coaching programs to help families with strong willed kids aged one to seven, prevent tantrums, eliminate power struggles, extend their patience and get on the same page. It's kind of like finances, you can read lots of info about what a Roth IRA is and how the stock market works. But if you really want to get serious about paying down debt or growing your wealth, you go see a financial advisor who can give you very specific recommendations based on all the unique facets of your situation. I'm your financial advisor for parenting. And I've designed the way we work together to give you nothing less than a complete transformation. While we work together, I'm able to help you figure out why your child is losing their mind and why you are losing your mind and guide you to master effective long term solutions through three main focuses. Number one, my cultivating cooperation guide teaching you the tools of positive discipline. Number two, managing your mind by working through my triggers workbook. And number three, establishing your families foundation by writing your family business plan. My coaching is comprehensive, practical, individualized and full of VIP support. So if you struggle to manage your child's big emotions, if you and your partner's argument seem to center around parenting, especially if one of you is too kind and one of us too firm. If you struggle to stay calm and be the parent that you want to be, it's possible to stop feeling like a deer in headlights when a tantrum hits, effortlessly move through simple directions and care routines without an argument and go to bed replaying the way you handled the hardest moments and feel proud. If you have a deep desire to be the best parent you can be, and your family is your greatest investment. Find me on Instagram, send me a message that says sanity. And I'll ask you a few questions to see if we'd be a good fit to work together. I can't wait to meet you back to the show. Okay, so the last thing is to address why kids become so obsessed with video games, and why it might not be too bad. Now I recently well, I guess maybe like a year ago, I came across a YouTube channel called Healthy gamer GG. And it is created by Dr. Kay who is a psychiatrist. He is on faculty at Harvard. And he offers a whole channel full of resources as well as a course and a parenting coaching on creating an alliance with your child around video games. And he speaks from personal experience of his road to kind of burning out already and then finding more traditional success and offers a lot of insight into what's going on in your child's brain and why they are so obsessed with video games. And if even if your child doesn't play them at all yet, because I know a lot of my listeners are on the younger end. It really was a game changer for me to understand why they're valuable. And the biggest piece of it was understanding that video games scaffold their learning to be immediately meeting a child where they're at. So while school might feel either very under performing or over performing as in the expectations are below them are the expectations are way too high, and they're behind video games, meet them exactly where they're at. And then challenge them one tiny next step next. And then once they accomplish that, it's then the next step, and then the next step, and then the next step. And it's very gratifying. It provides a huge sense of accomplishment and helps them feel capable, it is a great opportunity for a social outlet. And it helps them learn, you know, a lot of important technology skills that there are inevitable in this time and age. But essentially, they're very, very stimulating, because of exactly how individualized the path is for them, depending on what they're playing. And so it's important to not feel like it's your child and their video games against you. You want to make sure that you validate and completely understand how important they are to your child, how much they love them how much they feel good when they play them. And create a partnership where you want to help set them up for success with just some simple boundaries or ways to make it manageable, day to day, so that they're meeting their needs, while also understanding the needs of everyone else in your family. And that's where you can come up with collaborative problem solving options for you know what to do, if you're having a hard time transitioning off of them, or that they're not, you know, going to sleep because of them or, you know, other things that are are an issue, it's really important to be able to understand where they're coming from, to meet them there to then bring them over into where they need to be and teaching them those skills to help, you know manage that, rather than making it a complete power struggle battle from the beginning, where they see you as the adversary enemy who does not get it. And so, just wanted to throw that out there because I don't think you know, I would have him on the podcast for a whole episode. But if you are a family with older children, or you're just want to prepare yourself for those years down the road, when it might start to become an issue, I want you to have a little bit of insight and some resources to go to. So I will go ahead and link his YouTube channel in the shownotes as well as his course healthy gamer action plan, if that is something you can take advantage of already. So overall, I hope you know that I do not judge you for using screens screens are your friends. They are a parenting tool. And the more confident you feel in using them, the less you're going to beat yourself up with guilt. So you can therefore show up as an even better parent when the screens are off. You're doing great, and I'm so glad you're here. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of failing motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on!