It is estimated that your average teen sends over 3,000 texts a month, sometimes more, and when they aren’t texting, they are playing video games or watching Netflix. Where in this equation is there time to be away from their screens and out doing things in the real world? Without adults around to set limits, teens would probably spend all of their waking moments behind their screens. How do you limit that time without seeming like the worst parent in the world? There are a few different strategies; you just have to know where to find them.
Offer a Fun Alternative
Sometimes it’s as simple as offering your teens a fun alternative to being on their phones or playing a video game. For example, a day out at the beach or taking off for a road trip on the family motorcycles. If you don’t yet have a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to check out cheap motorcycle insurance quotes online to make sure you’re covered before you head out with your teen for a day trip to the beach. However, make it clear that there are no phones allowed. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have when you’re tech-free for a day.
Use Tech to Control Tech
While many experts feel that the answer to teen tech addiction is to give them more tech to control it, most parents still don’t feel that way at all. However, there are apps and controls out there that help parents enforce tech time. If you have to use tech to shut off their phones or internet access then so be it. At least you will have their undivided attention for a bit.
Make Meals a No-Tech Zone
For many families, dinner is a time when they share their stories of the day and slow down to be a family for a bit. If you allow tech at the table, your teens will use that time to check their phones for messages and updates. Make dinner time a priority and a no-tech zone and stick to that rule. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about your children at dinner when there are no phones allowed.
Practice What You Preach
The old saying about practicing what you preach is very true when it comes to getting your kids away from tech for a bit. If you set up a no-tech day or night, it’s not right for you to be on your phone or playing a video game. In other words, don’t preach getting off the phone for a bit, and then stay on your phone the entire time.
Facing the fact that tech is here to stay is something every parent has to do. However, you don’t have to give in to your teen spending every waking hour in front of a screen. Instead, give them a reason to get off the phone and spend time with their family, you’ll be glad that you did.