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7 Tips for Managing Your Teen’s Screen Time

Teen with headphones on focusing on tabletTeens spend an average of 7-9 hours in front of a screen every day, and this number only grew when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

So how can you as a parent help your child achieve a positive tech-life balance when many daily activities surround technology? We’ve gathered our top seven tips for providing structure to common screen time troubles:

Be A Role Model

Parents, we believe in you! It’s time to throw this phrase out the window: “Do what I say, not what I do.”

You can lead by example by following your set screen time rules. Kids will find it easier to follow the rules if you do too.

Structure Screen Time

Kids function well with consistency and schedules. If there is a time for school, for meals, and for sleeping, then there should be a time for screens. Parents can specify a block of time to reduce any conflict around their usage.

Discourage Multitasking

It’s easy nowadays to have multiple devices running out once – phone, computer, television, and tablets. Multitasking often reduces productivity, but most teens may be unaware of the disadvantages of multitasking.

Plan Screen-Free Days & Activities

Plan family fun days away from your screens! Try a new physical activity like kayaking or visit a zoo or museum. Trying something new stimulates the brain, improves the bond between families, and creates lasting memories.

No Screens During Meals

It’s time to get traditional – bring the family together at mealtimes and enjoy sharing conversation. Leaving technology behind at the dinner table encourages interaction between family members and creates a healthier, engaging family environment.

No Screens At Bedtime

Screen usage before bed has been proven to disturb sleep patterns and quality of sleep. Removing screens from bedrooms will help prevent these issues and remove your teen’s temptation to stay awake all night texting friends and scrolling through social media.

Be Aware

Finally, always be aware of what your kids are doing when online. You have the opportunity to teach them to be responsible digital citizens who make good decisions.

Find A Screen Balance

Find more information on creating a positive technology balance and developing healthy media habits with helpful resources from Digital Detox 101, an ongoing educational effort by the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition.