Are you looking for tips to get teens to reduce their screen time?
If you are looking no further because today we have 7 brilliant tips to get your teen back on track with the other good stuff in their lives
Flashback to the time when your teen was little and you were looking to get some quiet time in the house while you get the chores done or even just take a nap- you probably handed over a tablet device or turned on the TV. As parents, we love to hate the excessive screen time we admit our kids are getting, but there seems to be little we can do about it.
Sounds like you? Here’s a bit of help. Read on to discover 7 super effective tips to get teens to reduce their screen time.
Tips to Get Teens to Reduce their Screen Time
There are lots of simple and effective tips to get teens to reduce screen time they just require some effort and input from you and their willingness to meet you halfway (which I can’t promise!)
Find Better Alternatives to screen time
One of the simplest ways to reduce your teen’s screen time is to help him discover other alternatives that are just as interesting or more. Sometimes they may need your help with this because screens are very alluring. Encourage them to take part in different activities and try their hands at different ideas. Get them to discover their passion. Encourage physical activity and playing outside. Help them realize that the world outside of the screen too, is filled with exciting and fun things. In my experience holidays can be a brilliant way to do this as well as organised trips out. Sometimes you have to physically get them away from screen in order to open up their world.
Set an Example
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Adults have a role to play if they want to get teens to reduce their screen time, this one may be uncomfortable.
And yes this one may also seem the toughest, but if you work on it, you can actually help reduce your teen’s screen time, and yours too. Model healthy use of electronics at home and otherwise too. After all, if your teen observes you binge-watching your favourite Netflix show for hours at a stretch, he’s probably going to do that too!
Definitely, don’t use screens when your child is talking to you it tells them they are second best, don’t look at screens when driving ( safety!) or when at the table eating. These are the bare minimum of no=-nos when it comes to modelling good use of screen time – or perhaps I should say non-use of screen time.
Get Out Those Books
I bet your teen absolutely loved books when they were young, right? And perhaps you love books now and see then as a way to escape to rest and to relax?
Well reading is awesome and one of the best ways to de-stress as it takes your min immediately to another place and time ( actually it does this in just 6 seconds isn’t that amazing?)
Because we know books have these awesome superpowers it is a really good idea to reintroduce them to our teenager’s life,
Books are an excellent way to get your teen unhooked from his phone. Get your hands on a few paperbacks that are age-appropriate, and get your teen to discover the world of books like never before. My rule of thumb with teens and books are:
How to get your teens reading for pleasure
- Ask your peers what their teens are reading
- Nip to a good bookshop and ask what’s hot in teen fiction right now
- Whatever they watch on TV – whichever genre appeals to them most – buy a few books in a similar genre and you won’t go far wrong.
- Model reading for pleasure juts like you would screen-free time
- Get excited about books, share what you have read, discuss it during meal times,
- Get books of movies they have watched to really encourage them or offer to buy the DVD when they have read the book.
Create Tech-Free Zones
Limit the use of phones and other devices to certain areas in the home. For instance, set a rule that the bedroom is a restricted zone for any of these devices. Several studies have shown how exposure to blue light from the devices at night can disrupt your sleep schedule- just another reason to implement the rule. And again, make sure this is a rule you follow yourself. Kids do what you do not what you say and it is important that they see you put what you preach into action.
Set Tech-Free Times
Make certain time slots in the day when all members of the family will practise a gadget-free life. For instance, mealtimes should be a strict no-phone time, and it can be a great way for the entire family to sit down together and connect with each other better. You can also consider setting aside a couple of hours every day for every member to practise a digital detox. In my house, the rule is no screens before breakfast or after 9 pm for older teen. Also definitely not in the bathroom it will only end up in the toilet! (Honestly, I am not even kidding I have known so many people drop phones down toilets then desperately try and rescue them in a bag of rice with varying degrees of success) Really nobody wants or need to be fishing their phones out of the toilet, do they?
Teens who know and understand the negative consequences of too much screen time are less likely to overindulge in it. Sit down with your teen and go over how spending too much time on the phone or watching too much TV could affect his own health and many other aspects. It is all about respecting both their intelligence, a teens desire to have the facts and to make an independent choice maybe you could actually involve them in drawing up house rules around phones.
Make it a Privilege
Remind your teen that screen time is a privilege and not a right. You could take away these privileges as a negative consequence to reinforce the idea, and consecutively, offer extra screen time as a reward (occasionally). Set a daily limit to the use of phone and other devices, and try to make moderation the key instead of going overboard.
Most teens use screen time as a way to connect with friends. By making sure their friends feel welcome in your home, laying on a few snacks and a pizza or two and dolling out a few warm smiles then you teen is much more likely to socialise in real life than just behind a screen.
Pets that need walking (okay puppies) are a brilliant way to get your teens off their screen and out in the fresh air. But you do have to remember puppies are for life not just for screen /teen years. You may also fancy a look at my post on how to make walking less boring
So there really are a lot of things you can put into place to get teens to reduce their screen time – I wish you the very best of luck!
Further reading: You might also like my post on helping your children save for the future and do check out my awesome new book Be Happy, Be You that I have written for teens all about helping them to have a happy and balanced life ou can read more here about be happy be you – a teenage guide
You might also enjoy my post on how to raise a hardworking teen