Did you know that the average teenager spends more than seven hours a day (that’s more than 50 hours a week!) in front of a computer, cell phone, or TV screen, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation.
According to a study from the University of Minnesota, teens who watch more than five hours a day may have trouble later in life. Here are a few signs your teen may be spending too much time in front of a screen:
1. They miss out on social experiences, parties, church activities, other events
2. They stay up late to using a computer or TV
3. They eat meals in front of a screen
4. They go to bed with the TV on or their cell phone still on
Here are a few ways to help your teen (and your entire family) unplug.
1. Have a family rule that all cell phones be turned off and locked in a cabinet from 9:00PM to 8:00AM (or whatever time is best for you and your family) – including mom and dad’s phones.
2. Plan and go on family activities that are not conducive to cell phone use – hiking in the mountains. Sledding. Going to see Christmas lights or other family activity. Have a rule to leave cell phones in the car during these activities.
3. Eat dinner as a family – no phones allowed.
4. No TV’s in bedrooms.
At my house, we have never had a TV in our bedroom and we charge our phones downstairs, so they’re completely away from us in the evening and through the night. As a result, my husband and I talk a lot. We’re grateful for this time to unplug. It helps lower the stress in our lives as we actually connect.
For more about how to help your child avoid addiction, a free webinar is available at Addo Recovery.