057: How to manage screen time with your kids – with Arlene Pellicane

By March 19, 2019March 21st, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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If you’ve got kids, you know how frustrating it can be to peel them away from their screens these days. I mean, at times, it seems like they are total zombies who can’t take their eyeballs off the blinking lights and ridiculous cat videos… wanting more, more, MORE! (Note to self: have I just described myself or my kid? Carry on.)

As a parent of children who’ve grown up in this tech-driven, digital age, how do we manage screen time without losing our own (darn) minds?!

Arlene Pellicane is back to simplify how to manage screen time with your kids.

Note, the operative word here is “with” – not “for” as Arlene believes this is something you do together, as a family… not top-down management. If what you’ve been trying lately isn’t working with your kids, this episode is for you.

Arlene Pellicane, is the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World and author of Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The average amount of time a child spends in front of a screen per day, and how (exactly) this affects their brain and emotional development
  • What the five “A+ emotional skills” we could instill in our kids that will help them break the addiction
    • The Skill of Affection – How do you show real love to another person?
    • The Skill of Appreciation – How do you cultivate a grateful heart?
    • The Skill of Attention – How do you focus and be a good listener?
    • The Skill of Anger Management – How do you express anger in a productive way?
    • The Skill of Apology – How do you mend a relationship after you make a mistake?
  • Additional ways you can take back your home from an over-dependence on screens. This includes:
    • How to set healthy boundaries
    • Ideas on how to create meaningful family time together
  • What to do when you’re working from home or just need to get stuff done
    • Arlene shares healthier ideas to engage and entertain – without a screen

Arlene co-authored the book, Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, with Dr. Gary Chapman, so I’m sure you’ll see undertones of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, woven into our conversation today, as well.

It’s not about banishing screens from your household… but rather, becoming screen savvy as a family, and learning how to raise relational kids in a screen-driven world.


My challenge for you this week:

Make a goal to monitor how much time your kids spend looking at screens, and introduce alternative activities. Find a friend who can keep you accountable, and help you along the journey. Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World – Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane

Book: Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life – Arlene Pellicane

Book: The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place – Andy Crouch

Book: Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell

Book: A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

Favorite quotes from this episode:

(03:25) “Now the average child, (aged) 8 -18, is spending 7 hours a day on a screen.” – Arlene

(20:19) “We as a parent, we forget that we’re the foundation. We are the role models for them, so we can’t say to our kids on one hand, ‘Hey, put that screen down.’ But then (start) texting at the dinner table.” – Mary

(34:30) “Spending time with your child that’s totally uninterrupted by screens, that’s a huge one, because we are not spending quality time anymore because we’re just on screens (when we are honest) in our free time.” – Arlene

(36:52) “The less screens per day, the better your mental health, emotional health, physical and spiritual health is going to be for all of us.” – Arlene

(34:10) “They did a survey of 6,000 kids, and half of them said, my parents’ worst habit is being on their phone too much.” – Arlene

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About Arlene:

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right and 31 Days to a Happy Husband: What a Man Needs Most from His Wife, and Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Dr. Gary Chapman).

Arlene has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, and The 700 Club.

Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband James and their three children, Ethan, Noelle and Lucy.

Arlene’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Kathi Lipp – speaker, blogger, podcaster, clearer of physical and emotional clutter. Her motto is ‘Less clutter. More life.’

Where Arlene hangs out online:

Website: arlenepellicane.com

Facebook: @ArlenePellicaneAuthor

Instagram: @arlenepellicane

Video version of the episode

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