Reply To: Narrowed interests, – difficulty engaging and motivating son! Advice please.

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#172027
evae1izabeth
Participant

Have you considered letting him earn it every other day or more frequently for a shorter amount of time? I know it can be a hassle, but keep in mind that getting off when he’s supposed to with the right attitude, and finding something else that’s productive or enriching to do afterwards, are skills he also needs practice building. If he’s motivated to build something great with LEGOS for 2 hours after he gets off the computer on Monday, it really doesn’t matter if it started out because he’s motivated to play again on Wednesday. He’s still learning the skill he really needs to practice, which is to develop free time play skills and habits (which can become coping skills), and you have a way to motivate him to do it more often. If it’s a matter of limiting screen time, maybe consider spreading the same amount throughout the week and linking it to his other free time habits. If it’s a matter of getting him off the computer afterwards, link that behavior to playing next time. Supervision can also be solved creatively by adjusting the time of day, location of the device, etc. to adapt to your needs.

Maybe make a project out of creating a poster, list, or a jar of popsicle sticks with “I’m bored activities?”

My kids earned all of their screen time with a “star” system when they were younger. Every once in a while it meant a longer marathon because they ran around doing extra jobs, reading, and doing nice things for each other, but it was totally worth it. They were practicing the important skills way more than they were on the computer, and it didn’t happen as often as you might expect.