Sugar, Screens, and Routines: Find the Right Balance for Your Family 


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 in our children and teens.

It’s easy to catch a break by handing your phone to your child or extending screen time so you can get things done. Maybe you just agree to another treat so they will give you some peace. These small habits, however, can become patterns that lead to more conflict. These approaches may 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 they seeing more joy or more stress when they look at you? 

  • For additional support, check out the Quick Video Solutions Library, Connection = More Cooperation. Explore the Video Solutions and Handouts for all the classes including Manage Screen Time: End the Power Struggles, Solve Challenging Behaviors: Parent Child Teamwork and Family Rules and Routines for Better Behavior
  • 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