13 year old’s son screen time (rules + boundaries thought work)

Previously I brought to ‘Ask coaches’ a question about how to implement rules / boundaries on 13 year old’s screen time. It’s something husband and I struggle with. You encouraged me to do some thought downloads about a few questions. The first was ‘what does taking back control’ mean to me. I worked on this today and here are some thoughts and my models. I would love further feedback please.

Taking back control for me means working steadily & calmly (without drama!) with husband on thinking through what we want to do, why and how. Having a united front & making sure we can implement rules we can actually follow through on.

But in the past husband & I have tended to accuse each other when we don’t follow through with son’s screen time – me seeing husband as ‘too strict’, he seeing me as ‘too lenient’. The end result is that when it comes to screen time we have not managed to follow through over time on even a basic framework for son.

For me, ‘taking back power’ brings up a thought that rules / boundaries on screen time equals to humiliating son, taking up his space, suffocating him. I know that screen time for him is an escape and is important – it has particularly been so during the pandemic, as he hasn’t connected that well yet to friends in new secondary school.

Yet I do think screentime is too much at the moment. I do think as a parent I need to set boundaries & work with husband on that. I also know that the rules we want to implement will still allow son PLENTY of screen time. Finally, I know both husband and I have a strong, loving, very good relationship with son. But still I really struggle with this idea of ‘taking back control’ on this issue.

My model today on this:

C: 13 year old son’s screen time
T: His screen time is out of the control after the pandemic, not balanced. He might hate us if we implement screen time rules: I worry what ‘taking back power’ means, he may feel we are ‘suffocating’ him, being overbearing, and he may rebel.
F: guilty
A: have started discussing with husband but stumble upon what ‘taking back power’ means to me
worry about son’s reaction (anger)
even more worry about son feeling as if we are controlling his life and belittling him
worry we will just do something & end up not following through
worry about consequences if son feels controlled by us – might he become very oppositional?
R: I don’t take control of what I can, resist taking action