My almost 5 yo snuck watching a show on Our iPad a few days ago while I was putting 2 yo down for a nap. It’s the first time she’s asked for something, I said no, our rule is we watch on the weekend only and she did it anyway. I didn’t freak out, I just talked to her about it…and I gave her one more. Then when it was over the one more request turned into another, just one more!
That’s when the trigger occurred…she’s been about one more a lot in the past 6 months. One more cookie, one more show, one more swing, one more chapter.
I used to work with drug addicts and suddenly I got terrified…if she’s doing one more now, what happens when she’s a teen, just one more beer, puff, needle…
What is HnH take on one more?
Ironically, when sister woke up, she started crying saying we didn’t get out special time (we usually do this during the nap). It was a reminder that I was focusing on the “problem” and not coming to give her more attention…but I still feel there is something I might be missing…
It’s so great that you are aware of how something with your kiddos is triggering some FEAR within you. That fear is about you and your experience – not so much about them.
What to do with that wonderful awareness, is to high tail it to your LISTENING PARTNER. Using your Listener’s warm attention, you can offload all of your fears. What if my 5 year old is an addict? Is she already showing signs? Start with what you fear presently, and then ask yourself about your own fears from childhood. Did you grow up around addiction? Were you personally affected? Did they always ask for one more, just one more…
The more you can offload your own FEARS and really cry hard and laugh, tremble, sweat or yawn, the better you will be able to think about your daughter. The more relaxed you will be about SETTING LIMITS and the better you will be able to think about screen time in general.
That’s the work we need to do!!!
As for the HIH perspective on the ‘one more… one more… one more’… We have a very definite perspective. We say that your child is BRILLIANT!!! Their brilliant limbic system is asking for a LIMIT. Their limbic system wants to have a good emotional poop, but it can’t do that unless it bumps up against a limit.
Patty says, Set Limits Early and Often. You already know that ‘one more’ is NEVER enough. So when the timer goes off and she asks for one more, you gently bring the limit and say, ‘no sweetie, we’re finished for today. we’ll do more tomorrow’. and you WELCOME the TANTRUM. WHOO HOO! Bring it on! Because you know when you LISTEN to your daughter’s huge feelings, she will come out the other end, more flexible, relaxed and happy. ‘one more’ can’t give her that. In fact, all ‘one more’ does is exhaust both of you.
It’s important to note that her BIG FEELINGS most likely have NOTHING to do with whatever she was asking for. So, don’t respond as she begs, begs, begs, Just reassure her that you are there. You are saying ‘no’ to the one more thing and a big warm YES to your love and attention. These 2 articles can help
It can be a mystery to us that our child gets upset at the end of Special Time or a special treat. This great article explains why they get upset and what a gift it is to SET A LIMIT.
Having said all that, you are wise enough to know that there is an addictive quality to screens. It does not mean that your daughter is on her way to becoming an ‘addict’. But what we know is that when a child is mildly disconnected because they’ve been playing on their own for awhile, they CAN’T THINK and it’s tough for them to stop what they are doing. Then you add in the addictive attraction factor of the screens and BAM you got a kiddo who really CAN’T THINK. Their brain has been flipped into a little bit of withdrawal. So you get the double whammy of disconnection and withdrawal at the same time.
If we are going to SET A LIMIT and/or transition by turning the screen off, just know what is happening to her brain. She needs YOU, CONNECTION and LISTENING more than ever. because she really cannot think.
Bottom line – when kiddos hit or kick, we see that as a cry for help. Same with the ‘one more, one more, one more’. They are simply asking for a LIMIT; asking for our gentle ‘no’ and more importantly, asking for our warm YES to our love and connection.
I hope all that helps. After you get some Listening Time, please let us know what you figure out, and how it goes. Your sweet girl is lucky to have you thinking so well about her.
Peace & Smiles,
Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Conscious Child-raising Creating Cooperation and Peace
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“If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children” – Gandhi