Sugar and Screens: Feel Good Solutions that May Lead to Less Problems and More Happiness


When you just need time to get things done, extending kids’ screen time seems like an easy fix.  Maybe you just agree to another treat so your child will give you some peace. These small habits may result in less cooperation, calm, and even happiness in your family. These small habits, however, can become patterns that lead to more problems.  Let’s talk about some other approaches that work.

Daily schedules are busy and parents are coping with more and more demands. A recent report tells us that 66% of working parents are experiencing “parental burnout.” Sadly this is happening at the same time as a mental health crisis among our children and teens. Shortcuts like more screen time and sugar might be considered “parenting hacks.” And they work in the moment. However, in the long run, they often result in less cooperation, calm, and even happiness in your family. Sugar and screens are associated with pleasure. We, adults, use these solutions to get through the day as well. What’s the problem? We are learning that the biology of pleasure is actually in contrast to the biology of happiness. We do a lot of things that make us feel good in the moment but don’t lead to happiness or a sense of well-being. Kids look to us to help them know how to feel about the world. Are we passing on quick hits of pleasure habits that lead to happiness? Let’s talk.

  • For additional support, check out the Quick Video Solutions Library, Parenting Principles for Progress not Perfection. Explore the Video Solutions and Handouts for all the classes including  Dad, Let’s Talk: Give Your Child the Attention They Crave, The Kids are Not Alright: 7 Steps to Make Your Home Their Safe Place.

After this class you will be able to:

  • Identify the effects of sugar and screens on our brains and behavior
  • Recognize the difference between pleasure and happiness for you and your child
  • Apply strategies to develop more healthy solutions with your family