Parenting – Video Restrictions

Videos – not a need, a want

Even if they are a coping tool, they are not a reliable or adaptive one. They are maladaptive in that they make you more dependent, not more independent and they reduce your ability to focus by deliberately trying to catch and keep your attention.

They can be very entertaining and help us learn and explore, and if we only learn and explore that way, we are missing out on other forms.

Either don’t watch or watch responsibly/deliberately/intentionally/mindfully.

Why? To avoid seeing something horrible that cannot be unseen.

To do responsibly:

Watch with (supervising authority) or watch only ones from subscribed channels – (supervising authority) needs to approve, double check if kid added subscriptions. To ensure one of those two:

Before starting a new video, tell (supervising authority) how long the video is, who it’s by (confirm that it is subscribed/approved or request supervision if not) and set a timer for the video length.

This is to avoid losing time watching one video after another with no deliberation – at the mercy of the algorithm. Kid has gotten very upset before at losing track of time watching videos and requested help making sure it did not happen again and that no more than 5 hours a day was spent watching videos even on the weekends. Kid wants to make sure they have a diversity of experiences (we use Trello for tracking things that we don’t want to forget and can’t do right now).

This method did not work because (supervising authority) was not capable of enforcing it yet and kid wasn’t capable of following it yet.

Kid and (supervising authority) agreed that we would only use YouTube kids, or YouTube on kid’s google account so that it can be restricted. Kid’s google account can only be used on kid’s user account on the tablet – this is a software limitation.

Right now kid can still access (supervising authority)’s account on the tablet. If kid cannot stick to using YouTube kids or YouTube on their account, (supervising authority) will have to change the password so that kid can only access his account.

(supervising authority) will need to work on moving game data over from their google account to kid’s. Kid will need to work on being patient or helping around the house so (supervising authority) can move the data.

The Secret Parenting Tricks…

They assume everyone knows, so they don’t bother to teach them!

You know that “game” where baby drops the thing, you pick it up to give it back, repeat until you want to scream and throw the thing? Well, if you don’t play or are “lucky” enough that your baby isn’t into that game…. what you may think you are teaching is that “we don’t drop things on purpose” – what you are actually teaching is that you will only connect with baby the way you want to, and not the way they want to.

So if you lack the patience, fix that. Or just remind yourself that every time baby drops it they are saying “Did you see what I did? Do you love me?” (Gottman: bid for connection) and every time you pick it up to give back you are communicating “I love you no matter what. You are worthy of my love, time and attention.”

Jack in the box/Operation/Perfection – jump scares to practice coping skills

Peek-a-boo – jump scares to practice coping skills, object permanence

Patty cake – cross body movement & coordination

Input Required

I had a friend ask for ideas, I’m generalizing here for anyone it might help.

Kiddo asks parent for proprioceptive input.

Parent either can’t or can only offer some input.

Kiddo can’t handle the refusal – they already are disregulated and needing input, so they escalate.

My suggestions came from my experience:

1 One, it’s ok to have boundaries, and the less someone respects your boundaries, the bigger the boundaries have to be.

I’ve described it like the following distance when driving – if someone in front of you or behind you is tailgaiting, you need a larger following distance. That way if the person in front crashes from tailgaiting you have time to brake. If the person behind is too close then you also need time to brake slowly so they don’t hit you like they would if you had to stop suddenly.

What this looks like is stopping your kiddo farther away and asking them to slow down and ask first. If they are too disregulated to respect the boundaries, then you know to take action to protect yourself and help them get regulated. For example my personal bubble with the kiddo is my head and my back, if he wants to go behind me he has to ask, and if he wants to touch my face he has to ask, and if he wants to give me a hug, he doesn’t have to ask unless he’s trying to come up behind me.

2 Two, if they are asking for input you can’t give, try to give them or help them get the input they need. I’ll offer “squeezies” – a big bear hug, “squishies” – squishing the kiddo between me and a counter/wall/etc. or “jumpies” – holding hands and the kiddo jumps while pushing down on my hands, similar to holding a gym bar or pushing down on a counter or table and jumping.

In this case kiddo wanted what we call “shoulder bup” – sitting on shoulders. The two alternatives I thought of was doing a piggy back and then leaning against the wall to take some of the weight off or doing the shoulder bup with leaning back so that most of the kiddo’s weight ends up on the back of the seat if available.

If those aren’t options, a headstand or handstand might help or the other types of input mentioned. Another one we like is “Timber!” where they call that and you are a tree that then falls down on them – usually sitting side by side and leaning into them.

How do I get people to take my advice?

First I have a question – how do YOU feel when someone gives you unsolicited advice?

  • Patronized? (Mansplained)
  • Condescended to?
  • Defensive?
  • Criticized?
  • Angry?
  • Annoyed or irritated?
  • Appreciative?
  • Grateful?

If it’s more like the first ones and not the last two, why would someone else feel differently?

What would happen if instead you asked if they were open to you sharing ideas or your experience?

What if you respected if they weren’t ready to hear it, but at least they know you’re available if they want it?

What if you asked them what they think they need or what they want, and why they want it? Could you ask leading questions so they could figure things out on their own?

What would happen if you took your own advice first? What would it look like to be the change you want to see?

What are you missing if people aren’t listening to you? Are you not connecting first? Are you regulated? Are they?

Cassandra from Greek Mythology embodies the anguish of seeing the future and not being able to do anything about it. But it’s a misleading tale – we can do something about it, but not the thing that is easy for us – telling others.

We have to do the hard work of helping them see for themselves, or the even harder work of connecting with others so strongly that they trust us to be looking out for their best interests as well.