The phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ is among the truest ever spoken; especially when it comes to your teens and their phones.
Today’s teens spend an average of nine hours per day using media; and according to a study conducted by San Diego State University, teens who spend excessive amounts of time texting, Facetiming, Facebooking, Tweeting and otherwise social media-ing tend to be less happy than those who don’t.
Sure, sometimes you may be tempted to just confiscate their phones and computers; yet the real issue facing them might not be screen use, but screen overuse.

Battling Screen Overuse

Here are a few ways that you can help your teen battle the issue of screen overuse:

  1. Try to limit your teen’s screen time to one hour a day or less. Allow them to schedule some social media time into their daily schedules; while always prioritizing time spent on homework, with family and friends, and on other important activities ahead of that time spent online.
  2. Encourage your teen to balance their life activities; balancing any and all time spent on their phones with activities that could include sports, reading, and spending quality time with friends and classmates.
  3. Don’t totally deprive your teens of all access to their phones and computers. Teens may need their phones for any potential emergencies, and to check in with friends and relatives. Total ‘phone abstinence’ will not result in increased levels of happiness; as with most things, balance is the key.
  4. Encourage your kids to engage more with family and friends via face to face interaction. Plan parties and socials, both at your home and at local movie theaters, sports parks, and malls. Ask them if they’d like to invite their friends to dinner or for game or movie night.
  5. Make sure that your kids get enough food and sleep. If a teen is spending so much time on their phones that they ignore their scheduled sleep and meal times, then they could be facing a problem. Monitor the times that they eat their meals and retire for the evening; and if needed, set a specified ‘lights out’ time for them to observe. The term ‘lights out,’ after all, may be more acceptable to them than ‘bedtime’.


blueFire Wilderness Can Help

blueFire Wilderness Therapy is a wilderness therapy program aimed toward teens aged 11-17 coping with behavioral, social and emotional challenges. Call 1-844-413-1999 for more information.

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