Strategies To Reduce Your Teen's Screen Time


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Whether they're playing on their gaming consoles, texting on their phones, or watching videos on their laptops, many of our teens are spending more time than ever before on their screens these days. 

As a parent, you will understand the dangers of this. Too much screen time can result in social isolation from family members, the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and addiction to the screens in question.

Of course, screen time doesn't have to be harmful. In moderation, it's fine. But it is still important to find ways to reduce the time our teens spend on their screens and we can do this in the following ways. 

#1: Encourage them to follow their hobbies

All teens have hobbies, but unfortunately, screen time can get in the way. You could gently remind your teen of how much they used to enjoy their hobbies in an effort to cajole them back into their favorite past-times. When it comes around to your teen's birthday, you could also buy them something related to their hobbies. Be it a new baseball glove if they're into sports or something from if they're into tabletop role-playing games, gift them something that will incentivize them to return to what they used to enjoy.

#2: Engage in physical activity as a family

We should all do what we can to get into shape, be that for health reasons or any other type of fitness goal. The same applies to your teen. Hours sat in front of a screen can be detrimental to their health, so it's important to encourage them to exercise. One way to do this is to plan activities for your family to enjoy. You could spend time hiking or cycling at the weekend. It might be that there are sports you can all participate in together. Or you could use some of these family fitness ideas in an effort to get your teen into a moving position!

#3: Create rules that the whole family has to follow

It's no good setting rules for your teen that you don't follow yourself. If you tell them they are only allowed two hours of screen time an evening while you sit back with your phone for hours on end, you are only going to cause family tensions. If you put rules in place, you should make sure everybody follows them. Rules can include:

  • No screens at mealtimes

  • No screens after 9 pm

  • No screens until homework and household chores have been done

These are just a few examples but think about rules that apply to your family situation.

#4: Have a screen-free day each week

Your teen won't like this idea. In fact, they will probably kick up a fuss. However, if you can find ways to make it work, you should consider the option. And the best way to make it work, of course, is to do things together as a family. As suggested, you couple spend the day outdoors engaged in some kind of exercise. You could also play board or card games together, engage with some form of craft activity, or volunteer for something in the community. You might still allow your teen to have some time on their phone - this might alleviate any tension - but there should be a rule in place that they use it considerably less than other days. 

These are just some ideas, so we hope they were useful to you. Let us know what you think, and if you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments section below.


Improve Your Blog’s Popularity With These Proven Tips

 Improve Your Blog’s Popularity With These Proven Tips

Blogging has gradually transformed the digital space, with so many people taking advantage of free, user-friendly blogging platforms to promote their online endeavors. No matter your reason for blogging, creating a successful blog has everything to do with getting your content seen by as many people as necessary and building a loyal audience. And that usually means focusing more on what your audience wants instead of trying to promote yourself.

There are currently over 152 million blogs, which means the competition for audience is becoming even more fierce. So, how can you make your blog popular? How can you promote your blog in a way that makes it grab attention ahead of the competition? Here are some proven tips you can use.

Collaborate with other bloggers

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Blogger collaboration is one of the most effective ways of promoting your blog. Almost all bloggers have their own loyal audiences or fanbase. Therefore, it is essential to find another blogger that shares an audience similar to those you’re targeting or one with an overlapping theme with yours. This way, their audiences will potentially become yours. There are various ways of creating collaborations with other bloggers. You can use mediums like article collaborations and guest blog posts for this purpose. Both of these approaches will expose your blog to a broader audience. You can also attract brands, companies, and experts’ attention by mentioning them in your blogs or creating review articles about their products.

Improve your blog’s user experience

There are few things more frustrating than a blog that is very difficult to navigate. From slow-loading content to difficult to read texts, your blog’s readability or UX can easily enhance its popularity or otherwise. Whether you’re operating a full-fledged website or a free blog, take the time to incorporate the right tools to improve UX. For example, you can take advantage of UX research methods or tools like remote moderated research to deliver impactful UX insights from any location, over any distance. 

Customize your blog

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Design matters and one way to make your blog stand out from the rest is by ensuring that you create a unique design for it. If you’re using a free blog hosting platform, your design or creative options may be limited to only how many themes or design templates you have available. But if you’re using a plaid platform, you may have greater creative freedom. 

But no matter the platform you’re using, endeavor to make your blog as unique as possible. People are attracted to new or different things. The chances of new visitors staying longer on your blog have as much to do with your content as with your design. Plus, a new site visitor is more likely to refer others to your blog purely on the design alone. You may have a lot to say on your blog, but take the time to put enough effort into customizing its overall appearance.

Create viral content

As mentioned earlier, your blog design is as important as the kind of content you create. And when it comes to content, you want to have as many as possible if you want it to go viral. Many people desire to create viral content, but most people fail, unfortunately. An essential tip for creating viral content is to come up with very catchy titles. People are naturally drawn to titles that raise their eyebrows or appeal to their senses. However, you should be careful not to degenerate your catchy titles into click baits, affecting your credibility and making you lose most followers. You can also add many to-do or DIY content, as most readers tend to consider self-help content as proof of the blogger’s expertise. Plus, such contents have a longer life-span, as new readers can continue to refer to it even years after posting. 

Find your niche, and stick with it

You want your blog to become the go-to place for expert views on specific issues. And you cannot achieve that if you’re trying to make your blog a Jack of all trades. Before you even jump into the idea of creating a blog, find your niche or area of expertise, something you’re more comfortable writing about or have enough experience to share about. Once you decide on your niche, let that be your blog’s purpose and remain true to it. Define for yourself the kind of readers you want to attract with your blogs, and create a strategy on how to draw them. 

Use email newsletters to create a regular reader base

You can turn as many visitors to your blog as possible into regular readers by taking advantage of email newsletters. Many first-time blog visitors end up leaving without returning for various reasons. One way to ensure that you do not lose such visitors is by encouraging them to sign up for your email newsletters to keep them regularly updated and read your blog posts. Add a newsletter subscription to your blog and include a call-to-action urging your reader to subscribe. Next, use your blog email service to send out regular email newsletters to your mailing list. Also, analyze statistics to help you segment your readers according to their interests. Doing this will help you send out more personalized emails. 

Blog frequently

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Another vital key to the success and popularity of your blog is fresh content. The logic here is pretty simple - the more content you publish, the more reasons you give readers to return to your blog and vice versa. That means, if you post one content every week, for example, you can only expect a reader to visit your blog once a week. So, take the time to publish as much relevant content as often as possible. Besides, popular search engines tend to favor blogs with regular content. The more you post to your blog, the better your chances of ranking higher in search engine results. However, it would be best if you took care to ensure that every content you post is relevant and unique. Doing this is what matters the most.


6 Healthy Takeout Tips to Keep You On Track

 Depending on where you live, you might still be feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In many places, restaurants are still only offering carry-out services or delivery, instead of allowing patrons to dine indoors. 

And, if you’re feeling the stress of the pandemic and life in general, you might be tempted to get takeout more frequently than usual because you don’t want to cook!

Unfortunately, takeout food is often notorious for being greasy, fatty, and full of sodium. 

But, with a few tips and a little bit of knowledge, you can enjoy takeout while staying on track with your health and fitness goals. The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually come to an end, but in the meantime, this is good information to have on hand. Not only can you use it now to stay healthy, but in the future whenever you’re craving carry-out!


1. Choose Whole Grains

More often than not, there will be a whole grain option no matter which type of cuisine you choose. Granted, they aren’t always offered upfront. That means you have to be willing to ask for substitutions, which most restaurants are happy to do for you. 

If you’re ordering Asian or Mexican cuisine, you’ll typically get some type of rice as a side dish. Ask if they have brown rice instead of white. Some places are even willing to swap out noodles for brown rice, which will help to create a more filling, nutrient-dense meal. 

Brown rice is high in fiber and will keep you fuller longer, so you won’t over-indulge later. 

If you’re ordering something like Italian, the same rules apply. Ask if pasta dishes can be made with whole wheat noodles, and pizza crust with whole wheat flour. These are more common requests than you might think, so don’t be afraid to speak up!

2. Choose a Lean Protein

While a juicy cheeseburger is delicious, it isn’t the best protein option for you. Instead of beef or pork, opt for leaner protein choices like chicken, turkey, or seafood. Not only are they lower in calories and saturated fats, but they actually tend to have more protein than beef or pork

If you’re a vegetarian, ask about protein substitutions, including tofu or seitan. More restaurants are becoming conscious of their vegetarian/vegan customers, so there are more options available. 

3. Load Up on Veggies

Speaking of going vegetarian, one trick to get a large volume of food that is high in nutrients and low in calories is to double up on the veggies. 

Ask for extra vegetables on whatever dish you order. Or, ask for a double order of vegetables in place of something laden with carbohydrates. For example, if you’re given the option of rice or potatoes as a side dish, ask if you can have two servings of vegetables instead. 

Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients your body needs. You can eat a ton of them and feel completely satisfied, instead of feeling weighed down and lethargic by starchy sides. 

4. Pay Attention to Preparation

If something on a takeout menu sounds good, but you’re not sure how it’s prepared, don’t be afraid to ask when you’re ordering. Try to avoid things that are fried or sauteed, as that usually means they’re laden with oil. 

Instead, choose options that are grilled, broiled, or oven-roasted. Something that seems healthy, like vegetables, can be filled with extra fat and calories when they’re sauteed in oil. But, when they are roasted or grilled, they retain their nutrients and stay low in calories. 

5. Cut Back On Dairy

Dairy products are a staple in so many takeout favorites, especially Italian dishes. While cheese tastes amazing, it’s also high in calories and can leave you feeling heavy and full. 

That doesn’t mean you need to give up on cheese or other dairy products completely! If you order a pizza or pasta dish from your favorite Italian spot, ask if it can be prepared with half the cheese. You’ll still get the flavor and texture you love without all of the excess fat and calories. You might just find that you never needed that much cheese in order for the dish to be satisfying. 

If you’re ordering from a Mexican restaurant, ask for things like sour cream on the side. This allows you to control how much you put on your food, rather than having it slathered all over everything before it even gets to you. 

6. Get Sauce On the Side

In addition to getting certain dairy products on the side, it’s always a good idea to ask for sauces and dressings separately, too. 

Depending on the dishes, certain sauces can completely destroy an otherwise healthy meal. Buffalo sauce, for example, is made with melted butter. Most Asian sauces have a ton of sugar. Many salad dressings are loaded with oil or cream bases, like ranch. When your food gets doused in a sauce or dressing after being cooked, you’ll never know how many calories its adding, or what other ingredients you might not be thrilled about. 

When you get a sauce or dressing on the side, again, you’re in complete control. You can choose to pour a little on your food, or dip your fork into the sauce before picking up a bite. You’ll undoubtedly be amazed at how much sauce is left over by the time you’re done, saving you excessive amounts of sodium, sugar, and calories. 

Now, more than ever, it’s important to support local businesses and find the best carryout restaurant in your area. Most restaurants are struggling and could really benefit from customers ordering takeout a few times a week. But, that doesn’t mean you need to give up on your diet or keep from eating healthy. 

Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re craving takeout or you just don’t feel like cooking. By making a few smarter choices, asking questions, and swapping out a few ingredients, your diet won’t get derailed, and you can enjoy feeling healthy, full, and content from your favorite takeout spot while still staying on track with your health goals.