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Tips for Cutting Down a Teen's Phone Use & TV Time

by Kathryn Hatter

With the conversion of video into other forms of media, watching television is no longer the only concern for teenagers. In fact, according to a three-screen 2009 Nielsen report on the viewing of video on television, Internet and mobile devices, viewing mobile video is greatest during the teen years. If you have concerns about the amount of time your teen spends with a cell phone and television, look for ways to encourage moderation.

Parental Example

Kids often follow their parents' leads, notes the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website. When you want to encourage your teen to moderate cell phone and television usage, model the kinds of behavior you want from your teen. Resist the urge to seem inseparably connected with your own cell phone. And keep your own television usage down as well.

Bedroom Oasis

If teenagers have electronics available to them in the bedroom, it can get tough to control screen time and electronics use, states the American Academy of Pediatrics. This easy access can often lead to overuse, even affecting the amount of sleep your child gets. Remove the television from your teen's bedroom and insist that he leave his cell phone to charge overnight in a common area of the house to cut down on his usage of these devices.

Usage Rules

Teenagers use entertainment media for about seven hours every day, according to 2013 information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP recommends that teenagers not use entertainment media for more than two hours each day to reduce problems with attention, sleep and school. Sit down with your teenager and have an open and honest discussion about the use of electronics and screen time. Explain to your teens that you want to bring their use of entertainment media back in line with AAP recommendations by instituting family usage rules for cell phones and televisions. Some rules to institute might be no television or cell phone use during meals and homework time -- and turning off all electronics at a specific time at night.

Encourage Activity and Socializing

Help your teen discover other activities that do not involve electronics and media. Encourage an active lifestyle to ensure that your teen gets the necessary exercise for a healthy body. You might even find activities you can do together, such as joining a gym or taking a bike ride. Encourage your teen to socialize and spend time with other people, pursuing interests or perhaps, volunteering.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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