Tips for Keeping Your Teen Away from Screens as We Learn to Live with Covid-19

Sep 24, 2021

Keeping your teen away from screens is a hard enough battle to win. Add in the cancellation of many activities and social events due to COVID-19 plus fluctuating restrictions on gathering and many parents have reached their wits’ end. If your daughter has been glued to the TV or her devices since school let out, you’re not alone.

Today, we’ll talk about how parents can help their teens develop a healthier relationship to screens after COVID-19, which in turn will hopefully help their mental and physical wellbeing as we all recover from this challenging period.

Understanding Screen Time During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, screen time became a necessity since many children took part in remote school via a laptop or iPad. This blurring of the lines between school and leisure time has meant that many students were online for hours and hours every single day.

While some screen time is fine, all of our children, tweens, and teens need to have a healthy balance of activities in their day.

This includes:

  • Sleep
  • Meals
  • Family Time
  • Social Interactions
  • Schoolwork
  • Reading
  • Chores
  • Physical Activity

During COVID-19, so many of these activities from schoolwork to reading and even social interactions took place online. Now that we’re more able to socialize in person, it’s hard to wean our children away from their screens and encourage more physical activity, socialization, and simple play outdoors.

4 Tips for Limiting Screen Time

There are lots of ways that we can help our teen make better choices regarding screens this summer. Here are a few ways that you can help set positive boundaries around screen time, to ensure that they’re meeting all their developmental markers while staying happy and healthy during this crazy time.

Help soothe their nerves about in-person socialization

One of the reasons why your daughter may feel so attached to her devices is because there is still so much uncertainty about the risks surrounding in-person socialization. To help her feel more comfortable, have a conversation about the latest health guidance and come up with a set of guidelines that feel good for her.

Emphasize connection

Since screens have been used for so many things during the pandemic, it may be time for parents to re-evaluate their hard limits on screen time as a whole. Instead, it may make more sense to limit your daughter’s mindless scrolling or social media use. If she’s using a device to chat with friends and family or learn a new skill, this shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as a YouTube binge.

Set reasonable limits

One of the most difficult things parents must do for their children is set limits. This doesn’t get easier as they move into their teen years. While keeping in mind all the functions of a screen or device, parents should work with their teens to set reasonable limits on how often they can use their devices in a day.

Set a positive example

One of the best things a parent can do to help their teen control their screen use is to be a good role model. This means no scrolling on your phone during conversations or using a device at the dinner table. By limiting your own screen use to appropriate times, you can show your daughter that the policies you’ve created together apply to everyone in the house, not just her.

The best way to keep your teen away from screens is to work with her to help her understand the physical and mental benefits of outdoor play and other activities, so she can begin to make better choices on her own.

Looking for more resources on navigating the teen years with your daughter? Check out our blog for more.