turn things around, I sense that I am losing them . . . their eyes shift away, they squirm, and they look like they’re in the hot seat. This is not what they want to hear. It’s as though I’m telling them they need to live without electricity — that is how ingrained screens are in our lives. The inconvenience of what I’m proposing can seem overwhelming.

Aside from dreading the inconvenience, though, discussing screen-time often produces other uncomfortable feelings that create resistance in moving treatment forward. For example, some folks feel as though their parenting skills are being judged, or that their efforts or level of exhaustion are under- appreciated.

But by far and away the biggest driver of parental resistance when it comes to addressing screen-time is guilt. This guilt can arise from a variety of sources, which can be loosely divided into two categories: guilt over anticipating causing the child pain, and guilt over what the parents themselves have or haven’t done. Notably, the mere anticipation of feeling guilty is enough to create resistance.

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