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.


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