5 tips to manage your teens' screen time: find the balance
Everything we do involves a screen. From watching the news to ordering pizza, all of it requires a mobile phone or your laptop. It is quite impossible to avoid screen completely for anyone, therefore, one must contain the usage. A large part of the day goes into staring at the screen impacting our eyes, posture, brain, and to some extent the mood. Excessive use of screens is inevitable maybe if you are working or running a business online, but for teenagers, there shouldn’t be any excuse to manage screen time.
Parents must take control of managing teens’ screen time as it has numerous negative impacts. The following are some of the adverse impacts teens can face early in their lives just because of uncontrolled screen time usage.
How extended screen time can affect you?
Look around yourself, you will probably notice many heads down staring at the screen. Indeed, the use of phones has increased in the last decade because of changing world dynamics and it is important to keep moving with time. However,
The more teens use screens, the more they become lazy and lousy. Sitting on the couch or bed all day scrolling through the phone can increase body weight. The average weight of Americans has increased by around 10 pounds. One of the reasons for this increment is over usage of screen time.
Bad impact on eyes
There is no denying that constantly using screens can cause vision issues. It can also cause computer screen syndrome meaning dry & strained eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
Pain and no gain
It is a shame to have back and neck pain at an early age. The possibility emerges from excessive use of screen time. While using the phone the posture gets disturbed causing chronic neck and shoulder pain. Now, it is a common complaint by teens of neck pain amongst doctors.
Using the phone at night in your bed seems comforting, but in reality, it is not. There are studies linking sleeping issues with heavy use of computers or mobile. It is because of blue light from the devices repressing the sleeping hormone. This results in sleepless nights or what teens like to call “insomnia”.
Another impact caused by extreme screen time is the slow processing of information. There is a limit to what a human mind can consume. Overburdening the brain with unnecessary information can lead to impaired cognitive function. Hence, bad grades or poor attention in studies are by-products of it.
5 tips to manage your teens' screen time
Now, as you are familiar with negative impacts caused by screen time. You would be wondering about how to overcome this problem and control teens’ screen time. Unfortunately, teens are becoming addicted to their phones and everything they do is on their phone. Using for educational purposes should also be limited as there are contrary impacts. Leisure activities and video games have made teens stick to their beds or couches. Movies and shows on Netflix have been another reason for teens to stare at their screens. Keeping with friends through Facebook and Instagram is a norm whereas weekly meeting out is not enough. What you can do as a parent to manage teens' screen time?
Here are some of the practices and measures that can help you with.
Use a meal break as a free time
Make sure when teens take their meals they are not using the phones. Meal break is a bliss in this age of life. It is important to enjoy a healthy meal without banging your eyes on the screen. It is the perfect time to give rest to the eyes and talk with family members and siblings about their lives.
Keep work at work
Where phones have enclosed us with the outside world, it has taken us away from our family members. Studying or working surely needs your time even after office hours. But, as a parent, you need to make boundaries, when your kid is at home, no use phone for 2-3 hours unless it is an emergency. Resting of the brain and eyes is really important at this age.
Make outside world your friend
For entertainment or recreational activities force teens to go outside. Encourage their outgoing habit and watching movies in the cinema rather than laying in bed and staring at the screen.
Meet people in-person
Ask teens to call friends over and play instead of texting or calling or video chatting. Constantly viewing the screen even catching up with friends is uncalled for and as a parent, you must take action.
Find a hobby
When is the most we usually pick up our phones? When we are bored. Similarly, teens utilize most of the time on social media scrolling or watching videos. There is one way you can reduce this screen time i.e. helping them find another activity when bored. It will work because as a teen, the mind likes to explore new things and unearth the skills. Therefore, enrolling them in myhobbycourses’ leisure courses will make them learn a new skill. It could be crafting, sketching, singing, cooking, or dancing. Think of this screen time as an investment and once teens get a new skill they will pass the time while being productive and away from a screen.
Completely controlling the teens is not an option, but managing them and making their lives convenient is what you should focus on as a parent. You have to be careful as to how much time a child is consuming screen and try to balance it out by making a schedule.