Tuesday 12 November 2019

Dear David Coleman: My husband and I row about our kids' access to technology

Photo posed
Photo posed

Q My husband and I have three children, between the ages of two and six. My husband thinks it's OK to give the older two his phone if he needs to keep them occupied. I fundamentally disagree and want them to keep away from screens for as long as possible. We row so much about this, but who is right?

David replies: Rowing is not a bad thing in a marriage, since conflict is usually the kind of catalyst that we need to bring about change. However, conflict that never reaches resolution can become toxic.

I think having children often creates tension for couples, in terms of attitudes and beliefs, that we may not have been aware of before we became joint parents. It is so important that you and your husband get to talk, constructively, not just about screens, but also about your shared (and different) attitudes and beliefs.

Perhaps you need to find someone, that you both trust, that can help to mediate the discussion.

Sometimes our fights (nominally about screens in this instance) are actually about control and power in the relationship. It may not matter who is right in their views about screens, what is more important is that you can each listen to the other such that you can come to a resolution that is mutually acceptable.

Irish Independent

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