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242: Summertime Screen Limits

By June 13, 2023November 7th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast

It’s so easy for kids to overdo screen time, especially when school’s out. Screens and their content are designed to dominate their attention. Of course, we want to help our kids build a healthy relationship with that influence.

But setting limits on screen time causes friction in so many families. Not only are we the first generation of parents who have to help our kids build a healthy relationship with screens, we’re out here struggling to manage our own screen time!

The good news is, it is possible to set healthy boundaries around screens. AND I have a new resource to help you keep it from getting out of hand.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. Why shame about our own screen habits can lead us to lash out when our kids are absorbed in the glow.
  2. That you can help guide your kids and their use of screens without going completely off the gird yourself.
  3. How my first Masterminding Monthly live coaching call can help you face this big, big topic.

And much more! 

As always, thanks for listening. Head over to Facebook, where you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community. We post tips and tools and do pop-up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

Randi’s Web and Social Links

Links & Resources

Masterminding Monthly, my new, laser-focused, LIVE parent coaching sessions

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[00:00:00] Randi Rubenstein: My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast. At Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them.

[00:00:10] Well, hello, hello. Welcome to June. I know it’s crazy. Summer. Summer is here and I wanna talk about the thing that I know drove me crazy about summer, still drives me crazy, a little bit, about summer, and all the time with my 17 year old, soon to be a senior in high school, my little Corey. and it’s screens.

[00:00:43] It’s the phone, if your kids don’t have phones yet, if you’re not at the teen years, it might be TV, it might be video games, it might be iPad time. It’s just all the technology, right? Like I like to tell parents, it’s like the wild, wild west, you know, we’re figuring this out.

[00:01:03] We’re the first generation of parents to ever have to really, really deal with what technology has become and how much a part of all of our lives it is. And so we don’t know what we’re doing. Many of us struggle with screen habits that we don’t feel are completely healthy.

[00:01:31] I don’t wanna say addiction, but, I’ve had many, many, many parents tell me – I mean, my mom, may she rest in peace, my mom was completely screen addicted, like I wanna say, so much of her life in the last probably five years of her life was spent on Facebook. Right? And I don’t, nobody’s admitting this. Nobody’s admitting that , there’s lots and lots and lots of time scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. 

[00:02:05] So if this is something that we’re struggling with, and then we see our kids going down that same rabbit hole. It’s just a, a shame shit storm. That’s what it is. And you know, when things stay unproductive and problematic, it’s when there’s shame involved.

[00:02:31] So, as Brené Brown likes to say, shame only survives where there’s secrecy. So when we start talking about these things and looking at these things, and maybe even, ugh, dare I say, truth telling, like just even to ourselves, like, yeah, I’m on my phone more than I think I should be. 

[00:02:55] One of my mantras with my family has always been people before technology, which is just sort of my catchall. nobody’s using their phones in the car unless you’re playing DJ and you’re controlling the music for the entire car. People before technology. It’s my catchall for why we don’t have devices at the dinner table.

[00:03:16] Um, my latest thing on Mother’s Day, we watched Air and my daughter’s away at college, but it was me and the two boys and my husband Scott, and we watched on Prime, uh, the movie about Nike signing Michael Jordan.

[00:03:34] (I highly recommend it. I didn’t realize it was rated R so if you have little kids, maybe not, but I don’t think the rated R came from any sexual content, which was always the main thing I cared about when my kids were little. I think it was just some colorful language.) 

[00:03:48] Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed it and part of my mother’s day, I guess was not only are we watching a movie all together, no phones, all the phones were out of the room. I wanted everyone’s full attention. I hate it when I’m like sitting there watching a movie with someone and then they’re, especially my kids, and I’m wanting to share a moment or, or watching a show and I’m wanting to share a moment and like, it’s not even enough to be on one screen. They’ve gotta be on multiple screens. 

[00:04:20] So people before technology, and a lot of times I’m a hypocrite. I’ll be watching a show with my husband and if it gets kind of scary or intense or – Succession, it’s so cringey. There’s moments that are so cringey that I just, I need to look at my phone just to, to quell my own anxiety over the cringe factor. And Scott will look at me and he is like, should I pause it? Are we watching this together? So I’m even a hypocrite about this. 

[00:04:53] And look, we don’t change habits and we don’t solve problems when we’re stuck in the shame spiral, too. So, since shame only can survive where there’s secrecy, when you’re listening to this, when you’re reflecting, when you’re thinking about it, when you’re like, damn it, yes, I’m on my kids for all the screen stuff, but the truth is I spend more time on my screens and there’s plenty of time I’m choosing my phone over-

[00:05:26] I have a snoring dog in the back. I think I have two snoring dogs in the background. Uh, they’re so cute right now. They’re like sitting side by side and they’re just sawing those logs. Um, so hopefully you can’t hear them.

[00:05:39] But yeah, like, we don’t wanna look at these things, you guys, we just don’t. And so yeah, telling the truth about it, looking at it, realizing where you’re getting on top of your kids and you’re worrying about this so much for your kids. You know, maybe it’s that you gotta look at yourself too.

[00:05:59] So let’s talk about, how do we handle setting limits with screens during the summer? How do we handle this very loaded topic for most of us? Cuz it’s a big one. It’s a big one. Now, the good news is, for those of you who came to some of my monthly coaching calls that were open to the public, that used to be called The Weekend Warmup, we are bringing them back new and improved, and we’re starting them back up in June. This time they are going to be on Thursday evening. So once a month, uh, around once a month, I’m gonna do a Thursday evening, open to everyone, coaching call, called Masterminding Monthly.

[00:06:48] So Masterminding Monthly coaching calls this June. This is gonna be our first one, and it’s all about this topic, parenting screen limits. Like, how do we parent and determine what the limits are? How to get this thing under control, how to not allow screens to derail our summer.

[00:07:13] So, we’re all human for leaf clovers, and all of our families are different, and all of our kids are different. And it’s my favorite thing with, especially when you’re a podcast listener and you’ve been listening for a while and you feel like you know me, to get to have some time with you, and so I’m gonna coach you. I’m gonna coach you on your specific situation that has to do with screens, and I’m doing it in the evening, cuz we took a poll and it seems like in the evening after kids are in bed, that’s the best time for people.

[00:07:48] So I would love for you to show up live, and at the very least just know you can send your scenario to me for me to address it on the call, and then we’ll send you a call recording and you’ll have, like a day to be able to watch that call recording on your own time, and if you come live, you’ll be able to get the call recording, too.

[00:08:07] So, this is a big topic. I wanna coach you on it. 

[00:08:12] I want you to know that it is possible in this wild, wild west, screen addicted time that no one has ever parented before in, and we’re the first, we’re first gen. We can have a handle on this and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

[00:08:34] Uh, it doesn’t mean that we need to all of a sudden be these Zen Master perfect people who don’t love to watch or binge watch Daisy Jones & the Six. Have y’all seen that? I love my shows. I do. I love my shows. I use my phone all the time. I love listening to podcasts. I love my screens. I do. I don’t want a life without my screens. They keep me company. I just like to have some parameters and keep it in check.

[00:09:05] And ultimately people do come before technology. And, I also love my technology and our kids are no different.

[00:09:13] And we know that, and we know for tweens and teens this phone becomes an extension of themselves. It’s, it’s part of the way that they are connecting with other kids. A lot of the time it’s, there’s a sense of belonging in it. And so I think, you know, many of us are scared to have boundaries around it. We don’t wanna cut them off from their friends, and yet we also want our kids to be connected to us. We wanna have some face time.

[00:09:46] I just had a mom the other day who she was frazzled, she was triggered all the things. And her 13 year old, she’s like, she’s just so lazy. we were supposed to be cleaning out her room. We were going outta town. She wanted to go shopping. And I told her, we’re not bringing anything new into this house, cause I don’t even know what you have, what you don’t have. Your drawers are a mess. Your closet’s a mess. I mean, who can tell? We’re not bringing anything new into this house until we clean out your clo-

[00:10:17] And she said, and I’ll help you. So she had offered her daughter help. Her daughter had said she, when they were outta town, she’s like, I really wanna go shopping. There’s some special street that they normally go shopping on. And, and she said, okay, well, you know the deal.

[00:10:30] So her daughter comes home from school. And she says to her daughter, okay, I have an hour before I have to be somewhere. And I think her daughter comes home from school before the younger siblings. So she says, I have an hour. I’m all yours. Let’s go through your drawers. We’re leaving in a couple of days, and if you wanna go shopping, I told you the deal.

[00:10:52] And she says, I’ll be back in five minutes. I just need to go finish something up and then I’ll be back and then we’ll get down to business. So she comes in her daughter’s room and her daughter’s laying on her on her bed and she’s got her phone in hand and her face in her phone, doesn’t even look up at mom. And she’s like, well, let’s do it. And the daughter’s like, ehh, I don’t feel like it. And the mom says, you got me. It’s one hour, I’m gonna help you. Right? Like, this is what I’ve got. If you wanna go shopping next weekend, this, this has to happen. Yeah, it’s fine. Uh, I’ll do it later. And she, she wouldn’t bend.

[00:11:35] And so the mom started getting really anxious and she started getting kind of pissed and she was just like, you’re gonna wanna go shopping, and I’m telling you, we are not going shopping unless we clean out these drawers and that closet. And next thing you know, the daughter’s like, just get out of my room. Starts yelling at the mom.

[00:12:00] The mom leaves the room. She’s all frazzled. She’s super pissed, and she is like, she’s just always on that phone. You know, we have these parameters, but I don’t think she’s following them. I don’t think she’s only spending an hour a day on social media and she just goes so crazy over every little thing and this summer’s gonna be terrible. We’re gonna be fighting about this every single day. She’s just so lazy. She’s just so lazy. All she wants to do is be on that phone.

[00:12:36] And, mom just started a new rule for herself. Mom and dad were, are both now plugging their phones in at nine o’clock. They’re doing it together. It’s in a separate room, like technology – or not technology, cause I think they, well maybe they read after nine o’clock, but she’s like, we’ve been really good about this. And I’m like, so think about it. You’ve been really good at this for, like, a hot second, and now you want your daughter to be amazing at this, and you wanna tell her all the things and she needs to do all the things.

[00:13:11] And the truth is, it’s really hard for our kids to believe us when they’ve seen us with our faces in the devices for however long. I know for me, I used to be like, I’m running a business from this thing. And I remember when Corey was in fourth grade and he was like, okay, but if you’re gonna be on a phone call, or if you don’t wanna hang out with me, then can you have, and he said our babysitter’s name, can you have Nini pick me up and, do things with me? Like, it was his way of saying like, this sucks. It sucks to come in second to a device. Like, he really called me out on it and I was like, you’re right. No more. I’m not gonna be on that call.

[00:13:57] Because I had this standing meeting every Tuesday, I think it was at the time that I picked him up for an hour. And I, I was like trying to multitask and I was like, no, you’re right. You’re right. if I can’t be with you, then I need to find a replacement, hire a babysitter who will be with you. and he called me out on it.

[00:14:18] And so this mom. You know, it’s so hard and I think it fills us with so much shame when it’s like our kids are reflecting back habits that we feel ashamed about in ourselves. And this is the rub for all of us, is we want them to have better habits, and maybe we want them to have the habits that we’ve pretty recently adopted.

[00:14:45] And they are quite often, I know this is sucks to hear. It’s like they’re doing what was modeled. They learn by what we model. So there’s a way to handle this situation without, being a hypocrite, letting your kids know, me too. And you’re normal. 

[00:15:08] It’s normal for kids to wanna be on video games and iPad games and have trouble turning ’em off, and all of that is normal and we’re all learning this together. 

[00:15:22] There’s a way to handle having these limits and having these boundaries where it’s collaborative, where we’re all on the same team. It doesn’t mean that your kids, when you have to enforce them, they’re gonna be like, thanks mom. Thanks for reminding me that my screen time is over for the day that I’ve used my allotted amount. Like boundaries suck. Nobody loves when somebody else reminds you of a boundary, right?

[00:15:49] And so this is where I think coaching comes in and, and can really help support you in knowing exactly how to handle these situations.

[00:16:00] And so I wanna, I wanna coach you on your specific scenarios. So come to the Masterminding Monthly parenting, screen limits will be our first Masterminding Monthly kickoff coaching call.

[00:16:15] It is free. It is for all of you who have been here with me, getting my newsletters, listening to the podcast, maybe following the social media doggy videos. and I wanna coach you on your specific scenarios. So go to and the link will also be in the show notes, and sign up.

[00:16:42] You’ll get a call recording that you’ll be able to watch for 24 hours if you can’t attend live. You can also submit a scenario and I just may speak to your scenario on the call. And of course, the way you’ll get the most out of it is to come live and interact with me and let me coach you.

[00:17:07] So that’s what I’ve got. We’re gonna set you up for success. All things screens. And, the struggle is real, for me too, for all of us, and let’s figure this out together. So that’s what I have for you this week. Have a good one.

[00:17:24] Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips. Steps, tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household, I want you to go to my website and check out mastermindparenting. com. We have three beginning programs and if you need some accountability and more support then please, look for the one that would be a good fit for you.

[00:17:59] Um, and as always, we’re on all the social channels under mastermind parenting on Instagram. It’s mastermind underscore parenting. Um, and you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives where I give you teaching and coaching and I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong- willed kids, so that they can feel better. Because when they feel better, they do better.

[00:18:29] And, um, I love, love, love getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review. Super, super appreciative.

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