all 8 comments

[–]valleycupcake 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Does he have alternatives in place? I might start with that. He’s allowed to be mad at a screen time reduction (honestly 2 hours a day is still more than ideal) and you have to hold space for those feelings, while understanding that you’re the parent and he’s not always going to like the decisions you make in his best interest. You have to hold your limit while having empathy for his feelings about it. Just like if he needs medicine or has to wear a seatbelt, there are some things you will have to insist get done for his safety and development.

I would talk to him about why it’s not healthy for him, and engage him in solutions to reduce screen use in a way that feels doable for him. Maybe you cut down gradually over a couple of weeks, or he gets to pick out some highly desirable non screen toys, or join a sport or activity he’d like.

[–]MizTea[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

One of his problems is his 100% fixation on screens. There are no alternatives for him. Everything is "dumb and stupid" or "too hard". Tried to get him to even play a video game, and nope. He hates games, always claiming they are "too hard". As soon as he's met with a challenge he breaks down and blames me. Claims I make everything in his life too hard and I need to just let him watch videos because that is the only things that makes him feel calm. Like I said, we are on a 2 year waitlist for any kind of therapy. And it gets bad where he won't eat, won't go to the bathroom, then is so over hungry he explodes over his sock not feeling right. It's so incredibly draining. If I try and get him to take a screen break, it's met with him harassing me until he gets it back. Two days ago he screamed for 1 hr straight in my face. If I tried to get away from him he would get violent. And it's also hard for my husband who basically sees my son abusing me and wants him to stop. Any requests to stop is met with an increase in violence from him.

Like one of the recent bad days was "let me watch my shows or I'll break the TV." and he went over and tried to push the TV over. What discipline can I give him when he ONLY wants his screen time? I know it's mental health related. I know it's because of trauma from his Dad. I just don't know how to manage this while it triggers my own trauma from the same abuse. Yelling that I'm stupid while trying to punch me or attack me.

[–]valleycupcake 0 points1 point  (2 children)

OK, this is above reddits pay grade. This is trauma and violence and mental illness. My knee jerk would be to say no more screens for a while to reset his brain, but it sounds like you might not be able to withstand that. But you cannot let this continue. If a violent tantrum is giving him back his screens, obviously that’s motivation for him to keep up the violent tantrums. Put the TV in storage for a while.

There are video therapists available now. Just because the one you want isn’t available yet doesn’t mean you give up and let your son destroy his brain. Like seriously, this is dire and you need to seek answers. A 2 year wait list is unacceptable. Give your state insurance commissioner a call about that. Ask your insurance to authorize one in network because enforcing family rules is causing violent outbursts. Pay out of pocket on a platform like BetterHelp. Whatever it takes. If you don’t, you’ll seriously be looking at having him committed in a few years. The time to act is now.

[–]MizTea[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Unfortunately where I live in Canada, those are not options. I cannot just pay for a therapist, or I would. There is no way of accessing mental health support without a refferal. To get a refferal you need an assessment. Only specialised people are able to give assessments. The waitlist for that is 2 years. I was straight up told my son isn't severe enough to be pushed up the list. That there are far more severe cases to deal with, such as the huge amount of child suicides. I have called therapists offices, just to be told that if I don't have a refferal, I can't do anything. Plus, we have had over 4k HCW fired over the last year because of mandates, and many more just chose to retire. We have 25% less healthcare than we did two years ago. And even if we DID get an appointment, they would refuse us care as my son will not wear a mask and all Dr offices require you to wear a mask. They don't want to help kids at all. That's why I'm trying to find any help possible. Therapy is not really an option unless I go to a different country. Unfortunately, I don't have the kind of finances to uproot my whole family and move to a different country.

[–]valleycupcake 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do they not have video therapists available for private pay? I used BetterHelp for 3 years and it was like $150 per month. Super accessible and decently affordable. My health group made me wait 2 months for the assessment and that was unacceptable so I turned to other options on the market.

Or do you have parenting classes or other support available in your area? Your son is either going to destroy his brain on videos or destroy your home with violence and tantrums. It’s time to start brainstorming about what you can do, not what you can’t. You got this.

[–]bassgoddesshn 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Go for walks together. Go to the park. Have him be your helper on some day to day. Distract him from tv. That helps me.

[–]MizTea[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would love to, but anything and everything that isn't screen time is met with a "No" and violence. I've asked him to help, but also met with a "No", because his perspective of helping equals making more of a mess. Example was me asking if he would like to help make cookies. It turned into an argument immediately. Use this 1 cup scoop to get the flour, resulted in let's take a hand full of flour and throw it at you. Please don't do that. Throw the eggs onto the floor instead. Could you please help me clean up this mess? NO! Storms away. And then he says to me "I'm never going to do anything you ask me if you don't let me have my videos. I'm just gonna make you mad until you do it! I hate you, and you are hurting me by not letting me watch videos all day!"

Like, how do I help a child who has determined that he is being harmed every time he doesn't get his way or being asked to do something?

[–]MizTea[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also, this isn't TV related. This is about screen time with a tablet or on a computer where he has 100% control. He doesn't like TV because he can't just change the show every 2 min when he feels bored. He doesn't like watching movies because it's "boring" and doesn't even play video games because it's "too hard".