I’m sure many parents sighed after reading the title, remembering the dozen times they wanted to manage their teen’s screen time and asked them to put away their mobile phones and be present at the dinner table.
To be honest, it’s not an easy task to accomplish.
Technology is developing faster than the speed of light, and like it or not we are also trying to keep up with it. Therefore, each individual has at least one smart device, such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.
Nowadays, almost everything has moved online, so it seems impossible to separate people from their devices. However, things get a little complicated when it comes to our kids and teens. It’s vital for parents to keep an eye on their teen’s screen time and be aware of what content they are watching online. It’s a tough row to hoe, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Keep reading to learn all the tricks of managing your teen’s screen time.
What’s the Average Teen’s Screen Time?
I have to warn you the numbers may be pretty shocking! Based on the research conducted so far, the average screen time for 8 to 18-year-olds is between 6 to 9 hours a day, only for entertainment. If you are still not shocked, then you better wait to see the total result. It equals almost 114 entire days out of 365 days of a year wasted in front of a screen just to have fun, we haven’t considered the time they spend on their computers for school work. The numbers were even higher during the pandemic. Many parents decided to go easier on their kids during this period. It’s hard to ignore the increased influence of the internet on our and our kids’ lives in the last two years.
What is the Standard Teen’s Screen Time?
Sadly, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. Many factors can determine a standard teen’s screen time, such as their needs, age, responsibility, mental development, etc. As a result, it all comes down to you as parents finding the appropriate screen time for your kids. Can you think of any other factors?
Now that you know the appropriate teen’s screen time, you probably want to learn how to manage this time and what’s the best method to make them stick to the plan without that much drama!
Killer Tips and Tricks to Manage Kid’s Screen Time
Our experts here in YounGo Money have gathered some tips to help you through the teen’s screen time managing process. If you have other suggestions and have tried them, be sure to leave a comment below this article.
Start from Yourself!
You may not have noticed it, but perhaps your kids are only imitating your behaviours! Try and look at this matter from another perspective. What do you do in your free time? Do you read a book? Knit? Write a journal? Go for a walk? Or sit around and watch TV or keep scrolling on your tablets and mobile phones?
When our kids begin to have a better understanding of the environment around them, they naturally look at us as parents and copy everything we do. Thus, if you haven’t been using your mobile phones responsibly, try to change your habit. Limit your screen time to be a perfect example for your teens.
Create a Screen-Free Map!
Sit your kids down and explain that mobile phones and smart devices are not allowed in certain zones, and places at the house. Not only will this method help you manage your teen’s screentime, but it also will help you have more interaction as a family. For instance, no screen time around the dining table can make you connect more and talk about your day. Stuffed animals can be better sleeping buddies than your mobile phones!
Some parents even set rules about turning off smart devices before sleep due to its disastrous effects.
If your kids have been cooperating so far and follow the screen time rules, you can make this game even more challenging! To manage your teen’s screen time, you can demonstrate that during special periods, they are not allowed to use their smart devices. For instance, weekends give you a great opportunity to spend quality time with your family or do some activities helping your mental and physical health. Sadly, mobile phones, tablets, computers, etc., work as obstacles, preventing you from doing any of those mentioned above. Try to limit the screen time and replace it with fun family activities such as going to a picnic or playing outdoor games.
Think about Screen-Free Activities
There’s a never-ending list of screen-free activities, such as reading, playing, walking, painting, singing, etc. In addition, you can search on the internet to find some nearby fun events like galleries, exhibits, or craft classes. Be sure to encourage and value replacing these activities instead of texting, or watching TV all day.
Don’t Let Your Teens Multitask!
I guess it can be the most difficult one! Looking at screens is a part of who we are. Our teens walk across the street watching movies on their mobile phones, talk to their friends and post an Instagram story at the same time, or even do their homework and simultaneously play an online game! It’s your job as a parent to discourage their behaviour, it can be very hard, but it’s not impossible. Sit them down and talk about how this multitasking can steal their focus.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Kids about their Screen Time.
Talking can help us solve the challenges more simpler. When you discuss your problems with your friends and family, you can use their experiences or thoughts on your subject. Try to talk to your teens about their screen time, and ask them how they feel about it. If they also think it’s too much, try to help them using the tips we’ve mentioned so far. Even if they don’t realize it right away, it’s possible that they feel different after you discuss the appropriate screen time with them and why it is necessary to be in control of that time.
It May Sound Harsh, But Screen Time Is not a Teen’s Right!
Teenagers should know that their screen time is a privilege! Parents can decide to use it as a reward. For instance, when they do their homework, help you with chores, or behave, they are allowed to use their devices.
Teen’s Screen Time Parental Control
If you’ve tried all these tips and they didn’t work the way you like, you can take advantage of the parental control apps. They let you set limits and monitor the websites your teens have been visiting. You can also block or restrict the web pages, apps, or games that you think are not appropriate.
To Wrap Up
It’s vital to manage your teen’s screen time as it can interfere with their normal lives. Be sure to use the tips mentioned in this article to prevent that from happening.