Beating My Head Against A Screen

I realize that the children who are the hardest to love probably need it the most, but I am trying really hard to stay patient here and it’s difficult. I’ve been a Big Sister to a now 12 year old girl for a little over a year now, and whenever it seems like we are making progress things quickly being to regress.

She got a phone. Her time with me used to be the few hours outside of school a week where she wasn’t staring at a TV screen or the computer. Now she has a screen she can carry with her in her pocket, and she acts as though it’s torture to put it down. I know that every kid gets obsessed with their phone in the beginning, I’m just as guilty, but it just makes me sad that she only craves external entertainment.

I know that these hours are not for me, they’re for her. But sometimes when she’s being rude, or demanding for more and more expensive things, or ignoring me completely, I really don’t feel like I’m making a difference. How can you change someone’s life when you are allotted so little time with them? I am trying to remain optimistic and patient, I know she’s a smart and energetic girl because I’ve gotten so many glimpses of her true spirit. Right now it is just a challenge.

Have you ever felt like you were up against too many external factors to make a difference? What did you do?


3 thoughts on “Beating My Head Against A Screen

  1. I worked with kids that had emotional and behavioral challenges for 2 decades. The advice I would offer is to set ground rules for your time together. This young girl doesn’t respect you from her actions. She needs to know that with rewards comes responsibility. Her phone reward carries the responsibility of learning when it is and isn’t appropriate socially to have her phone out. She needs to understand that a person behaves a certain way depending on the place and who they are with. I would get stern and stand my ground if I were you. Things will get worse in the beginning but stick to it and they will get better.

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