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Episode 83 // How screen time is impacting your family, and what you can do about it to have a peaceful home

What are we talking about today?

You want a peaceful home, where your family can connect, unwind, and thrive. But how much is screen time impacting that? 

We often underestimate not only how much screen time we have, but how it is changing us. And, friend, don’t think that it isn’t changing you! 

Today, we’re looking at the impact screens have on us individually and in our family relationships. And don’t worry, we’re also tackling some practical ideas for how to make sure your family is using screen time in the best, healthiest way – so your Christian family can enjoy a peaceful home life.

Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 83:

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 14 // One change to your morning routine that will boost your mood and bless your relationships
  • Episode 36 // Should you break up with social media? Here are 3 ways Facebook, Instagram, and the rest are impacting you – the good and the bad! 
  • Episode 57 // My 10 favorite books, tools, and free resources (aka… gift ideas!) from marriage to biblical worldview and beyond

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.]

Snag your resources here!

If screen time, technology, and social media are a problem in your life, you need to reconnect with God. He is the One who made you, defines you, loves you, and who gives you purpose and identity in life. 

Grab the devotional workbook today: Finding Your Identity in Christ.

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful:

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

Screens are everywhere. Your phone. Laptop. Computer. Television. Tablet. Even our cars are featuring a screen display!

And with screens everywhere, we cannot ignore the realities of how screen time is impacting us and our families. 

Most especially, if you want a peaceful home and deep family relationships, you need to be intentional about screen time for yourself, your marriage, and your kids. 

Let’s take a look at HOW screen time impacts us, and what we can do about it for our family.

How screen time is impacting your family

Screen time is not only impacting you as an individual, but is impacting every individual in your home… AND the relationship dynamics in your family as a whole. 

Here are some of the ways that screen time impacts us.

Screens suck our attention away from the world around us. Whether we’re using it to write a document or for social media, the lighting and constant movement steal our focus.

Similarly, our self-focus, as well as our sense of materialism and consumerism, easily increase when we have more screen time. The focus turns inwards.

From social media to video games to television, screen time is changing our our brains respond to stimuli. There is a dopamine hit that influences what we now want, expect, or believe to be true. Diagnoses like ADHD are on the rise and our expectations are shaped by our screen time. 

BUT, screen time and technology does give increased opportunity for learning styles to be met in new and effective ways. This may happen in schooling or in discipleship opportunities. Videos have a unique way of grabbing our attention, and only happen via a screen.

Socially-oriented screen time (such as video gaming or social media) is linked with increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression. We are also more likely to struggle with body image issues.

Often, increased screen time will decrease our sense of gratitude and contentment.

In our family dynamics, screens reduce our quality time together as a family. Partly because they move us toward individual, isolated screen-based activities. But also, even when we gather our family together to watch a movie or play a video game, these activities are less relationally engaging than other non-screen activities. 

We must recognize that screens (specifically, those with internet access) give us and our families access to all the good… and evil… in the world. You, your husband, and your kids will all encounter content through screens that you did not want to see, did not expect to encounter, and that you are uncomfortable bringing back for a family discussion or necessary processing time. 

BUT, because we can access so much good from around the world, screens do give our families unique opportunities to help others! We can volunteer, serve, give, and help people  through technology that we would otherwise never engage with. There are great opportunities to disciple people, love people, and help others through screen time.

What we can do about screen time in our homes

We should always be intentional about how we and our family engage with media – and within that, screens in general. Here are some practical ideas for protecting your family.

  • Set limits on screen time for everyone in your home
  • Reduce the number of devices available in your home. Do you need 4 televisions… or would 1 in the shared living space work better?
  • Model healthy boundaries with your own actions. 
  • Do “screen free” challenges for yourself and your family, whether it’s a few hours, a whole day, or even more time away from screens. 
  • Have plenty of alternative entertainment and leisure options already planned for your family. When the easiest answer to “I’m bored” is to engage with a screen, have other options ready to go. (My Summer Activities Ideas resource offers 104 screen-free ideas!)
  • Engage in screen time together as a family. This gives more opportunity to ask questions, monitor media choices, and keep everyone on the same page.
  • Have rules in place for visibility. This might mean sharing passwords, checking your children’s phones on a regular basis, or installing software to monitor or filter access to the internet or screens.

Friday Faith Follow-up

In this follow-up episode, I’m sharing my best tips from years of experience as a marriage and family therapist to give specific action steps and resources that will help you protect your family from possible negative impact of screens, technology, and social media.

Some specific links that I mentioned include (and please note, I am not an affiliate for any of these companies):

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.