Conversation Starter for the Holiday

Hopefully you all know that holiday get togethers aren’t a good time to discuss religion and politics. Cousin Leslie is still sore about the World Series. Wes is going to tear up if we mention the quarterback situation, and the weather was just too hot this year. What can we do with this valuable relationship opportunity? How will we fill the time?

Here’s an idea. The adults need to have a summit and exchange the very best ideas for parenting their children’s smart phones. You don’t have to debate. It is not a contest. Well, it is, but it is us against the social media companies, who are rapidly taking ownership of your children’s lives. Let’s all get on the same team. Our goal is for every parent to leave the holiday meal with one more idea about how to parent our children in this smart phone saturated era.

Here’s 12 conversation starters to get you started:

1. Does your child carry a phone?
2. Who pays for the phone and the phone service?
3. What are the rules that you have established for phone use?
4. How do you monitor your child’s phone usage?
5. Do you utilize apps to monitor or limit your child’s phone use?
6. How does your child earn the privilege of phone carry/use/ access?
7. What behaviors are considered phone misuse?
8. What are the consequences for phone misuse?
9. What hours, times, or events are considered phone-off or no phone present times? (e.g., no phones at meals, phones not in bedrooms at night, etc.…)
10. In addition to phones, what other screen time do your children experience on the average day?
11. What phone restrictions apply to both children and adults in the household?
12. Do you, as an adult, have strategies for managing your own phone or specific app usage?

Now, the kids aren’t going to be happy that we had this conversation. But you know what? They’ll never know because it isn’t on Tik Tok! So, feel free to chat away. Listen for ideas that might help you up your parenting game and say nice things to each other for trying so hard to master this challenging parenting task.

Parents who attend our Family Tree Parenting Support Groups help one another to be the very best kind of parents.