Help! How do I convince my parents I can balance my studies with my screen time? 

Hi Friend

I feel really hurt when my parents yell at me for using my electronics, which they blame for affecting my academic results. But compared to my friends, I actually use my electronics much less and spend much less time playing videos games. 

Just because I faile one exam does not mean that I have failed in life. I understand studying is important, but how can I tell my parents to allow me a bit more leisure time? 

Less Scream Time, More Screen Time


Dear Less Scream Time

It sounds like you feel misunderstood by your parents. As electronic devices have beome part of everyday life for most people. it has also caused an unending struggle between parents and children. 

Like most things, electronics can be good and bad for you. Especially in a pandemic when you may not see your friends very often, playinggames or chating with them online can be important for menta health. 

A balanced lifestyle can include playing video games and using electronic devices, but should also inlude physical exercise, outdoor activities and meetings with friends (if it is safe to do so).

If you feel that your electronics usage is under ontrol, we have a few tips about how to approach your parents. While it is fair to feel your screen time is much less compared to your friends, it may be more useful to figure out for yourself how much time is healthy to spend on your devices. 

Write down your weekly schedule, accounting for how much time you need to study and what time you need to sleepevery night (most teens should aim for eight to 10 hours per night).

Find time to relax after you have studied for exams and submitted assignments. Some days, you might only have 15 minutes of free time, but maybe on the weekends, you can have a larger chunk of time to realx with your devices.

Find an appropriate time totalk to your parents, and avoid exchanging fire when they are yelling. Listen to their concerns, and show them how you've learned from your failed exam and what you will do differently when revising for the next one. 

Discuss why using electronics is important to you and how taking a break helps you relieve stress. Invite them to play a video game with you to understand why you enjoy them.

Explain how you will balance your screen time with your studies, and be ready to ompromise. Together, outline fair and realistic expectations. 

For example, it would be unfair if your parents only allowed you to use your electronic devices one a month. But it would be unrealistic if you promised to finish your work in 15 minutes every day. 

Folowing this mutual agreement will prove to your parents that you have self-control, and build their confidence in your ability to manage your time.

It's okay if you get distracted and don't folow the schedule perfectly. But you might need to rethink your habits if you often stay up all night because you can't tear yourself away from a game, or struggle to focus on studying becauseyou keep checking your phone. 

It is alarming if your gaming or internet usage is harming your health, relationships or studies. But remember, there are experienced professionals available to help: 

  • Cool Project - Internet Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services: 2827 1000
  • Online New Page - Online Addiction Counselling Centre: 2561 0363

Hope this helps, Friend of a Friend

This was answered by clinical psychologists from the Department of Health under Shall We Talk, a mental health initiative launched with the Advisory Committee on Mental Health.
Source: Young Post