August 13th, 2022 | Updated on August 24th, 2022
Screens have become an integral part of our lives, and they are impossible to avoid. Tech devices are an excellent way to chat with others, expand knowledge on various topics, and have fun playing games and enjoying different content.
Teens enjoy all these activities, so you can’t consider forbidding screen use. However, it’s important to limit the time spent in front of displays.
But how do you determine when your teen spends too much time using screens? Here’s a detailed guide to help parents monitor and limit screen time if necessary!
How Much Time Should A Teen Spend In Front Of Screens?
According to Kaiser Family Foundation, children from eight to 18 record a screen time of over 63 hours weekly.
That’s over 7.5 hours daily, and considering they often use multiple devices, the actual content exposure even increases.
It’s crucial to understand not all screen time is identical. For example, your teen might be searching the web for a school project. Perhaps they are doing a paper on their laptops or using a screen for educational purposes.
The above examples could be described as “positive” screen time. Even watching a movie or playing games could be positive since it’s a fun activity.
But if your teen takes things too far and just watches at a screen with no particular purpose, that’s “negative” and unnecessary screen time.
So, it’s not only about the hours spent using tech devices. It’s more about the way teens use them. Parents should estimate if their children are spending too much time in front of screens and work on limiting the use if required.
Dangers Of Too Much Screen Time
The risks of spending too much time using tech devices include:
- Obesity. Screen times keep children in a sedentary position. The lack of physical activity combined with eating junk food increases the risk of getting extra pounds.
- Poor school performance. Spending time on tech devices means less dedication to learning and school-related tasks.
- Inadequate sleep. Teens spend time on their smartphones late into the night. Lack of sleep leads to problems such as tiredness, lack of focus, etc.
- Behavioral problems. Underdeveloped social skills could come as a consequence of too much screen time. Also, if the content teens watch is violent, they might begin seeing that as acceptable behavior in real life.
Tips To Limit Screen Time For Teens
It’s hard to ban anything for a teen, so you must be smart about this. Here are some ideas to use when limiting and optimizing the time your teen spends on tech devices!
Agree On A No-Screen Policy In Certain Times
Most parents require that there’s no screen use during mealtimes. You can also limit these to shared areas and agree that there won’t be any tech devices in bedrooms. It’s crucial the entire family follows the same rules. As parents, it’s necessary to lead by example.
Check On The Videos And Games They Play
Video games come with age suitability ratings. If you follow that rule, teens should only play games with a 13+ age rating. However, most parents choose to estimate themselves. It’s best to test the game your teen wants to play.
If they don’t contain too much violence, foul language, or inappropriate content, you can give permission to your teen to play them. You can do the same for movies and other content they are watching. These limitations would become harder as your teen becomes older.
Use Phone Monitoring Apps
Your teen will spend hours messaging others on social media and other apps. Unfortunately, the internet is full of predators and cyberbullies. Many teens deal with at least some abuse form.
From receiving insulting messages in their inbox to strangers asking for provocative pictures, these are all threats your child could face on the web.
It’s why an android parental control app for kids could be of great assistance. These tools monitor phone activity and send alerts if they notice anything suspicious in messages.
That includes words related to bullying, suicide, violence, etc. Apps could also track location, filter websites and apps used, and offer detailed reports on phone activity.
Final Thoughts – Offer A Tempting Alternative
Don’t just tell your teen they can’t use screens as much as before. Sit down and discuss how you believe tech devices have affected their life negatively. Try to offer tempting alternatives, such as spending more time with them in some fun activities.
You could play board games, head for hikes, do DIY projects, etc. Think about what your teen would enjoy, and make sure that off-screen time is equally fun!
Image Source: Unsplash.com