Today’s teenagers are growing up in a digital world. From social media to video games, smartphones and tablets, the digital world is an ever-present influence in their lives. While too much screen time can cause obesity, carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain, and other problems. It also gives them access to information on a global scale that would have taken much longer to find in the pre-digital age. Although, there will always be things we can’t control regarding how much time they spend with these devices daily. Here are some ways to reduce your teen’s screen time across all devices.
Go On A Screen-Free Date
Instead of worrying that your child spends too much time on their devices, turn screen time into a game. For example, you can go to a park, go for a walk or even sit outside. Turn off your devices and see how much you can enjoy each other’s company. You can also make this a regular thing to help your child get used to having less screen time in their day.
Establish Rules And Consistent Enforcement
Set some rules for how much screen time your teen can have. For example, you can decide they can’t have more than two hours of screen time per day. You can also set rules for when they can have screen time. For example, they can have all the screen time they want on weekends but only 30 minutes on weekdays.
Once you set the rules, you must follow through with consistent enforcement and positive reinforcement. It includes having a constant time when you turn off all the devices and trying to explain to your children the consequences of breaking the rules.
Turn Off The Screens At Dinnertime Or During Meals
One way to reduce screen time is to turn off the screens at certain times. For example, you can turn off all the devices at dinner or during meals. It can help your child focus on the people around them instead of their phone. You can also turn off all the devices at certain times during the day. In addition, it can help your child focus on what they need to do and ensure they don’t get too distracted by their phone.
Take Away Devices Or Limit Usage For A Certain Amount Of Time
If your child hasn’t responded to your rules or wants to try something different, you can take away devices for a particular time. It’s beneficial if they’ve broken one of the rules you’ve set for the amount of time they can spend on their devices. Depending on the offense, you can decide to take away their devices for an hour, a day, or even longer.
Find Activities That Don’t Involve Screens
Furthermore, if your teenager has a device addiction, you may want to consider engaging them in other fun, educational, and useful activities. It can help them get over their addiction and learn to focus on more important things in their life.
The best way to reduce the amount of time your child spends on their devices is to find activities that don’t involve screens. For example, you can try reading books without their digital devices. Instead, find books your teenager will enjoy reading, such as adventure books for teenagers. One way to do this is to make it a family affair. Get your family together and read with each other.
Boardgames, outdoor activities, going to the movies, society games, sports, short trips, etc., are even more activities you can plan with the kids. Of course, you can encourage them to engage in such activities with their friends or classmates.
On the one hand, the digital world has provided teenagers with many benefits, such as easy access to information, better communication with people around the globe, and less reliance on printed media. On the other hand, it has also introduced them to new dangers, such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and exposure to inappropriate content. In addition, digital overuse can lead to procrastination, underdevelopment of social skills, and even poor academic results.
It’s up to parents to help teens navigate these digital dangers and reap the benefits of being digital natives. First, parents must set boundaries to ensure their kids are safe online.