I think my family is addicted to their smartphones. How should I address this problem?
Electronic devices are addictive and damaging to people when
- their use becomes a way of avoiding people;
- you hold them in one hand and drive with the other;
- their use means that you are often inattentive to others;
- you reach for them reflexively a dozen or more times a day;
- they are seen as an extension of your hand or public persona;
- you enjoy them more than the joy of knowing Christ and His people;
- their use fills more time than your personal interaction with family and friends;
- your seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness takes second place.
How should you address it?
- Examine your heart and habits; repent where needed.
- Confer with your spouse and confess your faults.
- Together, prepare a family plan with timed goals to reduce use.
- Include a media/phone fast, starting with mealtimes and Sabbaths.
- Call a family meeting, address the problem, and propose the plan; get feedback.
- Provide happy, wholesome activities to fill time previously spent with media.
- Be prepared for pushback; proceed with patient grace and firm persistence.
- Set an example; authentic leadership is not just enforcing your authority.
Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. . . . Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master (Ephesians 6:1, 4, The Message).
— Elder Calvin Burrell
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