As a parent, raising your children can be very rewarding. But it also has its moments of frustration when you feel like nothing you do is getting through. With how pervasive mobile phones and other handheld devices are (and how young children seem to get them now), that often makes meaningful family time even harder to experience.

ESSENTIALISM by Greg McKeown is a great book that shows not only how you can streamline your life, but also suggests some tips and tricks on parenting.

For example, one issue parents deal with today is how much screen time (TV, devices, etc.) had crept into time spent together as a family. If parents feel like they need to limit screen time, friction is often created when they talk with their kids about this issue.

McKeown introduced a token system in which all kids received 10 tokens at beginning of week.

Each token could be traded in for 30 minutes of screen time or .50 at the end of the week.

If any of his children read a book for 30 minutes, they could earn an additional token as well.

The results?

Average screen time went down 90%; average reading time went up 90%.

And . . .  Greg and his wife did not have to invest a lot of effort into policing screen time.

Greg says the key is to “start small, encourage progress, and celebrate small wins.”


Two other great blog posts on this topic are located here:

Teaching our kids (and ourselves) about trade-offs, habits and screen time

Faith Hacking: Managing Your Kids’ Screen Time