Screen Time Reduction Skills

Fostering Thanks This Week

Delaney Ruston, MD
November 22, 2022
scrapbook of Polarids

This Thanksgiving week, I’m taking time with my family. Due to illnesses in the family, this is the first time since the pandemic began that we finally get to have an extended family gathering, and I’m taking the week to truly enjoy it. Here are four of my past Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday favorite Thanksgiving posts which are chock-full of ideas for fostering togetherness this week. I had fun rereading these, and I am definitely going to employ some of these tidbits into my gatherings this week.

Screen Alternatives for Thanksgiving

I have some ideas about supporting more face-to-face interactions and fewer retreats into all our individual devices. Rarely do I say something so prescriptive, but I’m taking a leap. I recommend that all personal portable devices go into a big basket for Thanksgiving. Also, I recommend saying that all other screens are shut down for the day (except possibly for a TV if you watch sports that day, and a shared computer, for a reason I will explain).

A Togetherness Kit

How to promote shared discussions and shared experiences during this time? Thanksgiving’s themes of gratitude, empathy and sharing are a perfect launching pad. If put into practice, these traditions are the best medicine we have in the face of all the negativity seen in the media and on the internet.

In fact, I am not even going to discuss screen themes directly. Yet, I strongly believe that when we focus on how to create time for the things we worry screen time is negatively impacting, ultimately, it is very much screen-time related. It is all about solutions.

Here are some ideas of where to start.

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A resurgence of board games, 7 suggestions

Family time during the holiday is great… and complicated. There are many unspoken needs and hopes and conflicting communication styles. It is easy to retreat quickly into our devices to soothe our tense feelings. My advice to myself and all of us is to reach for a board game whenever possible. For my family, it’s Boggle. I’m also hoping to try to play Bananagrams more. Read more here.

Teaching our kids the trickiness of thanks

Part of what we do as parents that is so special and important is that we bring up conversation topics with our kids that may not have been discussed elsewhere. I have just such a topic that I want to offer — a topic that pertains to Thanksgiving, and it has to do with the challenges of giving thanks. I am talking about meaningful thanks.

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I find that people rarely talk about how nervous and self-conscious we humans can feel when we thank someone for something they did or said. Even just contemplating expressing our thanks can make us feel anywhere from a little uncomfortable to super vulnerable. And yet, so often, these uncomfortable expressions of gratitude are the truly meaningful ones.

Many times we all say thank you, and it comes without any emotional hurdle, like saying thank you to the cashier as we smile through our masks and push our cart away. Or thank you to someone who steps aside to maintain a COVID-safe distance, and so on.

But I am talking about the thank-yous that make us feel a bit vulnerable. For instance, …

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Screen Time Reduction Skills

Fostering Thanks This Week

Delaney Ruston, MD
November 22, 2022
scrapbook of Polarids

This Thanksgiving week, I’m taking time with my family. Due to illnesses in the family, this is the first time since the pandemic began that we finally get to have an extended family gathering, and I’m taking the week to truly enjoy it. Here are four of my past Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday favorite Thanksgiving posts which are chock-full of ideas for fostering togetherness this week. I had fun rereading these, and I am definitely going to employ some of these tidbits into my gatherings this week.

Screen Alternatives for Thanksgiving

I have some ideas about supporting more face-to-face interactions and fewer retreats into all our individual devices. Rarely do I say something so prescriptive, but I’m taking a leap. I recommend that all personal portable devices go into a big basket for Thanksgiving. Also, I recommend saying that all other screens are shut down for the day (except possibly for a TV if you watch sports that day, and a shared computer, for a reason I will explain).

A Togetherness Kit

How to promote shared discussions and shared experiences during this time? Thanksgiving’s themes of gratitude, empathy and sharing are a perfect launching pad. If put into practice, these traditions are the best medicine we have in the face of all the negativity seen in the media and on the internet.

In fact, I am not even going to discuss screen themes directly. Yet, I strongly believe that when we focus on how to create time for the things we worry screen time is negatively impacting, ultimately, it is very much screen-time related. It is all about solutions.

Here are some ideas of where to start.

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for more like this, DR. DELANEY RUSTON'S NEW BOOK, PARENTING IN THE SCREEN AGE, IS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR TODAY’S PARENTS. WITH INSIGHTS ON SCREEN TIME FROM RESEARCHERS, INPUT FROM KIDS & TEENS, THIS BOOK IS PACKED WITH SOLUTIONS FOR HOW TO START AND SUSTAIN PRODUCTIVE FAMILY TALKS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND IT’S IMPACT ON OUR MENTAL WELLBEING.  

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