Setting Screen Time Limits For Teens Without Starting World War 3


In this two-minute video Lauren Muriello, LPC of  Well Being Therapy Center offers a few strategies for setting screen time limits for teens so that they can do the things they’re supposed to do, like studying, eating dinner with the family and sleeping at night.

When setting limits doesn’t work

Once you have clear guidelines about when phones need to be turned off and put away (say 5:00-7:00 each night for homework and once they go to bed), if your child is not following the guidelines you’ve established, then it may be time to use technology to your advantage.

Rather than spending time arguing, debating, and nagging your teen to get off their phone, Lauren recommends using an app that allows you to turn your child’s phone off. It’s quick and easy. They may not like it, but if you stick to it they will learn to keep the agreements you’ve made around cell phone usage.

Using the app Lauren recommends eliminates the battle. If used consistently and fairly during the agreed-upon hours, your teen will “get it.”They may not like it, but they will get it.

Get the phones out of the bedroom

“I recommend talking as a family about when it’s important to have no technology. You should definitely have a clear time at night where the phones are turned off and are charging out of the bedrooms.“ -Lauren Muriello Click To Tweet


Lauren mentions one study which showed that 30% of teenagers wake up at night to check their phones. In a BBC article, that number is even higher at 45%. That’s crazy. What good can come of that? They can potentially read upsetting texts and lie in bed when they could be sleeping.

This is tough to implement, but consistency and walking your talk are key. That means it’s equally important for us as parents to model the behavior we want our children to follow.

We must do the same if we want our kids to turn their tech off during family time. I realize it’s tricky because sometimes parents have real needs to have their technology on, but I do feel that children copy what they see us do more than what we tell them to do. That is a fact.

“Parenting and Digital Technology” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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Adam Simon, Odyssey Teen Camp Director

Adam Simon

I'm Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let's connect, discuss, and engage...
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