Caroline Thain tells us how to reduce the drama and make it calmer…
Say it needs charging and if we don’t charge it now, it will never work again. It’s like that ice cream van fib, right? When the tune plays, he has sold out! It’s all for love!
- Be empathic and honest
“I know you are enjoying your game and would love to play longer, but we have school in the morning and we don’t want to be too tired to have fun, do we?”
- Use bribery
“If you come off your iPad before I come back to collect it, you can have the biggest packet of Haribo you can find tomorrow.” Desperate times, desperate measures. Though it is not a preferred parenting technique among behaviourists now.
- Empower them
“I would like you to hand the iPad to me soon. Let me know when you are ready. I will be waiting.” If they kick off, touchy feely communication experts suggest you say: “You don’t feel ready yet but it’s time for the iPad to go. How can we solve this together? What do you think it is that you have to do to feel ready to hand it back?” It confuses and empowers them and they realise it’s easier to give in.
- Prepare them
Advance warning helps manage disappointment. Then stick to the time frame. Clear firm boundaries work apparently. Give notice at five and two minutes and at one minute. Then walk gently towards the child and take the iPad. How hard can it be?
Or resort to what I often overhear parents telling their children: Try this.
“Pleeeeeeeeeeease let me have my iPad until nine?”
“Mummy would love to be able to say yes to that but it’s against the law to have your iPad after eight.”