I received the following from a parent:
“Hello, Thank you for writing the book. We are and will continue to recommend it to other people. (The book referred to is http://piperpress.com/parenting-without-stress.php)
“I wonder would you please reply/advise me here. My 15 yr old spends several hours on the computer and she does not part with her phone. She does activities and is a good student, but every free moment she has she is on Facebook or texting. Network she is on allows for free texts to certain numbers. Wi-Fi is free so she has internet access on her phone. She feels that if she has done her chores, then she can spend her free time anyway she likes (especially as it is summer holiday now).
“How do I offer choice or motivate her to limit her time on computer to 2hrs a day or whatever? How do I get her to want to put her phone down? I used my authority and demanded that she obeys me, but that isn’t what I want for me or her any more. I want her to understand and manage herself.
“Help please. I sincerely hope you will reply to my e-mail. Thank you.”
Following was my response:
Please link to http://marvinmarshall.com/learning-the-brain-and-technology/
Share it with your daughter and have her share it with her friends.
Any way you look at it, spending time on some mechanical device is a lone activity and deprives people of other opportunities.
After she reads the blog post, have a conversation with her. Let her know that at this age you understand that her friends (real or imagined) are the most important thing in her life. However, being addicted to anything is unhealthy, and, as a mother you are responsible for her growth so she can become a healthy, responsible person.
The problem today is that she is on summer vacation and has lots of free time. Even so, here is the procedure:
Ask her how much time she could limit herself to technology in order to live a healthy life style that includes a proper diet, enough sleep AND EXERCISE. The body was made for movement. The point is for you to ELICIT from her a time limit on which you can both agree. If she comes up with a time limit that is not satisfactory to both of you, ask, “What else?” again and again until you both come to an agreement.
During the summer months, be flexible—up to four hours; two hours during school days.
(If in the future she does not abide by her decision, AT THAT TIME elicit a consequence or procedure from her.)
Appeal to her by saying that, with all you have provided and given her, you also need some satisfaction for your efforts. Let her know that when she does not consider how you feel, she is operating on Level A narcissism—only considering her own feelings. That’s what it is like to act on Level A.
You may want to consider investing a few dollars for http://piperpress.com/children-of-rainbow-school.php
Have her read it. Understanding the difference between internal and external motivation can really help her develop self-disicpline and moderation in all things—a key factor for a successful life.
Continue to use the the “Three Principles to Practice” at http://marvinmarshall.com/files/pdf/parents_parenting_model.pdf