As important to our lives as technology is, sometimes it can become all-consuming, especially for teens and young adults.
Smartphones, in particular, take up so much of our time as we scroll through social media and constantly check our emails. And while adults are just as guilty, teenagers seem to while away their days head bent over a phone.
As hard as it may be to do, it is important you encourage your teen to put it down – they are missing out on so much real life!
1. Create a reward chart
While reward charts are generally for younger kids, they are great at motivating your teen to do certain things. You don’t necessarily have to hang it on the kitchen wall, and keeping it simple is the best. Days they consciously put their phone down or make an effort to put it away deserve a tick with a reward at the end.
2. Impose restrictions
Don’t allow them be on their phone at the dinner table, during family outings or after a certain time. You are the parent and it is up to you to tell them when they can and cannot be on their phone.
3. Get them to sign a contract
Being the owner of a mobile phone is an adult responsibility so make sure you treat it as it is. Write up a contract stating the reasons for the phone, the apps they can download and times they can use it. Make sure you have consequences for when they break their contract – confiscating their phone is probably the most efficient.
4. Get them outside
A bored teen will resort to the social media apps on their phone as a source of entertainment, so don’t give them the opportunity to be idle. Sign them up for after school activities, create a study plan or encourage them to volunteer – the more things they have on the less they’ll be on their phone.
5. Take it away
If you’ve had numerous failed attempts to get them to put it away, maybe it’s time to take it away. While confiscating it isn’t really something we would encourage and it can lead to resentment, you should never let your child get away with disobeying rules.