The Most Reliable Parental Control App
FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids' devices.
There is no denying that children and adolescents spend most of their time watching screens. This might be on mobile, computer, or TV. But according to research by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 9 hours per day is the average screen time for teens. Depending on your view, these hours are way too much to spend on a single day. Now his prompts the ‘big’ question; what is the average screen time for a teenager? Read on to find out!
Part 1: How much screen time is healthy for a teenager?
According to the American Academy for Pediatrics recommendations, the average screen time for teenagers and children should be less than 2 hours per day. They also add that children under two years should enjoy no screen time at all.
However, parents should live to the realities of the new digital world, which the AAP also acknowledges. Today, it’s almost impossible to limit your teenage child’s screen time to only 2 hours per day. That’s because teenagers are somewhat adventurous and rebellious. Also, you won’t be snooping around them each time they leave the house.
It’s vital to remember that the internet is a valuable learning resource for learners. Children can use their computers and mobile phones to research their homework and reach out to their teachers using means like Skype and Zoom. Overall, it’s foolhardy to say 2 hours is the perfect screen time for kids in this digital era.
Part 2: Effects of too much screen time for teens
Now that you’re aware of the average screen time for teens, what are some adverse effects if they exceed the recommended duration? As said before, kids can use their screen time on educational materials and entertainment. But too much screen time can have the following side effects on your child:
1. Lack of sleep
If your teenage child goes to bed with their phone or laptop, then the chances are that they are having trouble falling asleep. This is because using social media and playing games can be so addictive and fun. But in return, it may ruin your child’s sleep schedule. Also, researchers say that the blue light emitted from smartphones or computers limits the production of the melatonin hormone, which controls sleep.
2. Obesity and other lifestyle diseases
Teens who watch TV for long hours may come across junk food commercials. This might make them crave unhealthy foods like sodas and fast foods. Also, a child who plays video games the whole day is likely to be inactive. In return, they may develop conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
3. Communication and behavioral issues
Excessive screen time for kids can also make them develop poor communication and social skills. Your child may not find it necessary to interact with other people, making them unsocial in real life. Additionally, video games may expose them to violent behaviors like fighting and using foul language.
Part 3: Tips for balancing your teenage child’s screen time
Below are a few tips for implementing the recommended screen time for kids:
1. Talk to your child about screen time
If you’re a seasoned parent, you’ll know that nothing works magic on teens like dialog. With that in mind, communication should be your first option when controlling your child’s screen time. Remember, teenagers are fast learners. Talk to them about the side effects of prolonged screen time use and what they stand to gain by limiting it.
2. Create “tech-free zones” in the house
In addition to dialog and advice, you should create “tech-free zones” at home. In short, these are areas where technology isn’t allowed. For example, you can place a blanket ban on smartphones and computers in the kitchen or dining room. Also, desktops and game consoles should be used in open spaces instead of their bedroom.
3. Collect mobile phones and laptops during bedtime
While this may sound ‘mean,’ it’s vital to confiscate these devices if your child is to enjoy a sound sleep. Make it a routine to ask for their smartphones, tablets, or laptops before bed and return them in the morning after breakfast. But again, talk to your child about why you’re doing this, or you’re risking a full-blown ‘rebellion.’
4. Lead from the front
You don’t expect your kids not to use their phones on the dinner table while you flaunt the rule, do you? In plain language, you should be the first one to turn off your phone or computer during bedtime and keep it away from the bedroom. Further, encourage your child to participate in outdoor activities. For instance, if they have a passion for soccer, get them a brand-new jersey of their favorite team and enroll them in a soccer academy.
5. Use parental controls
If all else fails, you can decide to make their devices useful only when you see it fit. In other words, modern smartphones and tablets come with inbuilt parental control features that allow parents to filter what content their children consume. For example, use the TV’s parental control feature to filter the type of content your child can watch. Also, iPhones and Android phones come with advanced parental control features to help you monitor your child’s device remotely.
Part 4: How FamiSafe can help limit screen time for teenagers?
Now that you know the average screen time per day for a teenager, it’s time to learn to limit it without breaking a sweat. With Wondershare FamiSafe, you can keep track of your child’s screen time right from your iPhone, iPad, Android, Fire tablet, or computer. This feature-rich app is straightforward to use and allows you to monitor up to 30 devices. Just install it on your device and the one you wish to monitor and enjoy real-time tracking and updates.
Below is how you can use Wondershare FamiSafe to limit screen time for teens:
Monitor screen time and block apps– On the intuitive UI, you’ll get real-time information on the amount of time your teenage child speeds on their device and on which apps. Then, FamiSafe lets you block the addictive apps or the whole screen until you’re ready to allow your kid to use the device or app. Even better, parents can set schedules for blocking apps on their child’s device.
Filter web content – It’s common to worry about the type of web content that keeps your child glued to their device. If that’s the case, use FamiSafe to get real-time reports about your child’s web history and block inappropriate sites. You can block websites by categories like weapons, crime, gambling, adult, etc. What’s more, parents can filter websites by keywords for a more convenient search.
Get real-time social media updates – Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Likee can be distractive to your child. Excessive social media use can lead to reduced academic performance and expose them to cyberbullying. But with FamiSafe, you’ll monitor the type of content your child reads on social media and delete or block them altogether. In addition, parents can block messages and comments by keywords.
All in all, don’t limit your teenager to only two hours of screen time per day. Let them use their computers and smart devices to research homework, play games, and talk to their social media friends. However, ensure you speak to them about acting responsibly with their devices and educating them on the side effects of excessive use. Don’t forget that dialog works best on teenagers and young adults.