Can tablet use cause behavior problems? A Your Child Explained Episode (podcast episode 226)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

This episode, we focus on a serious issue.

It’s one you may have been wondering about, but not known what to do about – or even if it was a big deal at all:

Does tablet or smartphone use contribute to a child’s behavior problems?

We live in this world, which is absolutely filled with tech. The tech doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast… So what’s the answer?

Does tablet use contribute to behavior problems?

Listen to today’s episode to find out!

For notes on this episode including:

– Three ways to safely use technology with your littles
– The sign-up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting FREE online class, which distills everything I’ve learned into 3 simple lessons for true enjoyment of this parenting life
– Key Links and every back episode of We Turned Out Okay

Go to

And thank you so much for listening!


What’s a parent to conclude?

It’s a nuanced answer.
Sometimes, yes – screen time, including tablet or smartphone use, contributes to a child’s behavior problems.

And sometimes, no, it doesn’t.

Read on to discover when the use of screens DOES contribute to behavior issues you might see in your child!


The 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class

In today’s episode I share about the live, free, online class I am teaching

If you want to change your child’s behavior from bad to good, feel happy inside, and start truly enjoying the time you spend with your young kids, you want to take this FREE class.

In it I teach the distillation of everything I have learned about:
– What holds parents up from happiness
– How to change a child’s bad behavior to good
– How to make the time you spend with your kids into happy family time

Click this button for details and to sign up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class!
Click Here for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class


It’s bad when the tech use does this:

No matter what, you do not want tech/tablet/smart phone use to interrupt family communication.

This can mean when your child is using tech… But it can also mean when YOU are using it.

Recently I consulted with a family where the parents relied on a timer on their smart phones too often.

Within an hour or so, that timer must’ve been set and gone off fifteen times.

It got so that it was used so often, relied upon so much, that it interrupted the family’s communication with each other.

And that is what we don’t want.


How to Stop Tech Use from Contributing to Your Child’s Behavior Problems

Because technology interrupts good communication, in addition to overstimulating and making kids antsy, it can contribute to a child’s behavior issues.

I mean, think about it: after some amount of tech time, what child is not bouncing off the walls?

They’ve had lots of mental stimulation, but no real opportunity (while they’re using technology) to move their bodies meaningfully.

So, how do we make sure that the tech use in our homes isn’t creating – or worsening – behavior problems in our kids?

I’ve got three ways, read about them below.


What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

If you need help, come and join us in the Ninja Parenting Community, where work personally with parents to accomplish three things:
– Change your child’s bad behavior to good behavior
– Feel happy inside
– Truly enjoy family time in a way you never thought possible

If you need help feeling truly happy inside as you are raising your young children, come and join us in the private coaching community where I help parents like you change their mindset – and their child’s behavior – for the better every day.

NPC Parent Coaching Community Membership helps you through:
– Live, members-only calls where you get solutions to your toughest parenting challenges
– Courses on everything from stopping sibling rivalry to what to do instead of spanking
– Parent Coaching Calls that members call “the most helpful part of my Ninja Parenting Community membership”

With all that and more, we have got you covered!

Join the Ninja Parenting Community today and make the time you spend with your young children your favorite time!
Get Help in our Private Coaching Community Today


3 Ways to Safely Use Tech with Young Children

1) Pick your times with care.

Have some time that is tech time, and other time that is decidedly not tech time.

2) Put the tech away – for lots of every day.

As stated above, technology interrupts good communication with kids.

We love our kids, and good communication helps us truly enjoy the time we spend with them too; technology interrupts that good communication and paradoxically can make the time we spend with our kids more onerous and frustrating.

If you want light and enjoyable, instead of onerous and frustrating?
Put the tech away.

3) Mind your own tech use, as well.

When kids and screens expert Devorah Heitner came on We Turned Out Okay (I will link to her episode below), she talked about how, if kids could create an app, lots of them would create an app that gave them the power to shut off their PARENTS’ phones.

When we are caught up in an email, or a texting thread, and our eyes are continually drawn down to our phone, even when our kids are trying to get our attention – that’s bad.

Really bad, because our overuse of technology (say it with me) interrupts good communication with kids.

I’m not saying “don’t use tech around your kids.”

What I am saying is, when you’re using it, understand the potential impact it is having…

You are the one with the power in this situation, and sometimes that means powering down your devices.


Important WTOO Links

Click here for episode 116, my conversation with Devorah Heitner about how to navigate your child’s digital world.

Click here for episode 220, about bribery; is it ever okay? Is there something we could be doing differently? If so, what? Episode 220, called “To bribe… or not to bribe,” provides solid answers to this conundrum!

If you need practical advice to deal with your child’s bad behavior, check out my book.
It’s called Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, and I wrote it especially to help parents handle kids’ tough behavior, because parents need to eliminate the bad before they can be happy at home.
It’s available in Amazon, but since you’re here – since you took the time to come visit – I want to give you a better deal than Amazon.
Click here for details on Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics!


Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!


Click here to check out We Turned Out Okay’s How-to Videos, to learn about how to help your kids eat more fruits and vegetables, how to help when they’re getting in trouble at daycare, and more!