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iPad vs Parent: Sarah's Story

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Key Individuals

  • Sarah - Shares how she overcame her child's iPad addiction. Sarah is one of our ScreenStrong ambassadors. She has also gone through our ScreenStrong training to become a public speaker.
  • Melanie Hempy - Host for ScreenStrong podcasts.

Key Takeaways from screen addiction (iPads, tablets, phones)

  • Changes that Sarah saw as her son got pulled into being more on his screen (iPad) and spending less time with his family and doing thighs that he liked. As time passes, Sarah noticed a change as her child seemed more aggressive and impatient. 
  • The other big thing that she noticed was motivation. He's a very driven, motivated young man, generally, if he wants something, he's going to stop at nothing until he gets it as was evidenced by his Minecraft. But just in life, he loves sports, he loves to be active. And as he started going away from all such an active lifestyle towards video games, Sarah was shocking
  • A statement from her son when asked what he wants as his Christmas present. “All I want is for me to have more iPad time(screen time).”


  • Families are still unaware of how screen time can become a problem that may change the family's routine completely. 
  • In today's episode, Mandee Hamann welcomes Sarah, one of our ScreenStrong Ambassadors, as she shares her family’s story of becoming ScreenStrong. She shares that it all started with an iPad and describes how quickly her family’s dynamic changed over the course of a few months.

A troubling result in screen time (iPad and other devices)

  • Sarah's son won an iPad in a competition in which he took part, here is how she reacted to it, “He won an iPad in this contest that he had entered. And so we thought, oh, wow, a free iPad. That's pretty much at the time. We thought it was great.”
  • However, it opened a new door into our family that we hadn't had before which was the handheld device world. And at the time, it really seemed like we were still trying to be intentional with the decisions that we were making. And we felt good about it at that time. But pretty quickly, we started to notice some behavior changes with our son.
  • Sarah also mentioned the strong bond that the two brothers had. "They're really good friends. And they played a lot together. So we had a really great family dynamic going, but not too long after we started allowing the video games. And I should mention, we had pretty strict restrictions, it was generally like an hour a day that he was allowed to use, sometimes we'd allow a little bit more, but it wasn't allowed to play all day.

But even with the limited time that he was on it, we started really noticing change very quickly. His mood would change dramatically, he would become very, agitated, either, during the game, or if his younger siblings would come up and say, “Hey, do you want to play?” he would reply, by either yelling at them to go away. or say I am busy"

Also Read: What Sets Carrots&Cake Apart on Screen Time?

Parenting resources

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Jack Newenham

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