With the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives, it can be difficult to not spend a good portion of our day in front of a screen. Whether it’s for school, work or personal communication or pleasure, it’s hard to say “no” to screens. But how can you encourage your teen to spend less time in front of their phone, a TV or a computer? Here are some tips on how to manage your teen’s screen time.
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1. Lead by Example
Your teen picks up on your actions more than you might realize. If you want your teen to spend less time in front of a screen, be sure to watch how much time you spend in front of a screen as well. Particularly in those brief moments such as between conversations, in the car, or while waiting. If you set rules about how long they can spend in front a screen, be sure you follow them as well.
2. Set Physical Boundaries
Set physical boundaries in the home of where your teen can and can’t use devices and be sure that you stick to these too. For example, don’t allow computers, TVs or tablets in their bedrooms or phones at the dinner table.
3. Use Parental Controls
Most electronic devices allow you to create a secure passcode and some even have settings that allow you to limit access to certain sites. You can also use certain software to monitor how long an item has been used for.
4. Encourage Alternative Activities
If your teen is involved in extracurriculars and feels supported as they pursue their hobbies, they might not even want to spend so much time in front of a screen! Encourage them to spend time outside, play sports or music, or hang with with friends as much as possible. Be sure to positively reinforce these behaviors.