8 Tips For Managing Your Teen's Screen Time

8 Tips For Managing Your Teen's Screen Time

As a parent, it can be difficult to know how much screen time is appropriate for your teenager. With so many entertainment options available online, it can be tough to keep track of what they're doing and how much time they're spending in front of a screen. In this blog post, we will provide some tips for managing your teen's screen time.

Average screen time

According to research, children aged 8 to 18 spend a huge 6-9 hours each day in front of a screen for entertainment purposes. Of this, four-and-a-half hours were taken up by watching television. This translates to 114 entire days viewing a screen for pleasure over a year. It doesn't account for the time they spend on their computer at school for educational purposes or homework.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, parents had more difficulty restricting their child's screen time, and up to half of parents with children aged 5 to 15 said they had to ease some restrictions regarding what their kids did online in 2020. Parents agreed that the internet has value in allowing their youngsters to keep in touch with their friends.

How much screen time should a teen have?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Every teen is different and will need a different amount of screen time depending on their age, maturity level, and other factors. Ultimately, it's up to you as a parent to decide how much screen time is appropriate.

8 tips for managing your teen's screen time

Here are eight tips that may be helpful for managing your teen's screen time.

1. Set a good example with your own habits

If you're constantly on your phone or spending hours in front of the TV, your teen may follow suit. Try to set a good example by limiting your own screen time and using your devices responsibly. For example, avoid using your phone at the dinner table. Instead, save that time for talking and interacting with your teen – and make sure you encourage them to do the same.

2. Set screen-free zones within the home

There could be certain areas of the house, like the kitchen or dining room table, where screens are not allowed. This will help to encourage face-to-face interactions and discourage excessive screen time. You could also try implementing a rule that screens must be turned off one hour before bedtime to help your teen wind down for the night. Video apps like TikTok can be addictive and keep teens up late into the evening if they're not careful.

3. Set screen-free days or times

In addition to screen-free zones, you could also set screen-free days or times. This means that your teen is not allowed to use any screens during certain periods of the day, say from dinner until bedtime, or on weekend afternoons. An effective way to enforce this could be to organise a family activity that everyone can do together during that screen-free time, such as playing a board game or going for a walk.

4. Encourage activities that don't involve a screen

There are plenty of activities that your teen can do that don't involve looking at a screen. Try to encourage them to do things like reading, playing sports, or spending time outdoors. You could also suggest creative hobbies like painting or writing. Local libraries and community centres often have classes and programmes that your teen can join. You could also use your imagination and create activities that mimic their favourite apps. For example, if your child loves Snapchat, you could set up a photo scavenger hunt, or a photo booth with various props and fun accessories. 

5. Discourage multitasking

When your teen is doing homework or spending time with friends, discourage them from multitasking by looking at their phone or watching TV. This can be a difficult habit to break, but there are benefits for your teen in focusing on one thing at a time. Concentrated focus can help your teen retain information and be more productive. It also promotes mindfulness and helps them stay present in the moment.

6. Talk to your teen about their screen time

It's important to have regular conversations with your teen about their screen time. Ask them how they're feeling and if they're happy with the amount of time they're spending on their devices. If they seem unhappy or feel like they're spending too much time on their screens, talk to them about ways to cut back. You can also use apps to monitor your kids' mobile phone usage, so you can discuss the amount of time they're spending on phones or apps.


As part of these conversations, you could also bring up the subjects of cyberbullying and sensible online precautions. This is important to keep your children safe while using mobile phones.

7. Regard screen time as a privilege

Screen time can be seen as a privilege that your teen has to earn, not a right. For example, you could require them to do their homework and chores before they're allowed to use their phone or watch TV. This can help them to value their screen time more and also help them learn about responsibility.

8. Use parental controls where necessary

If you feel like your teen is struggling to limit their screen time on their own, you can always take advantage of parental controls. This could involve setting limits on the amount of time they're allowed to spend on their devices, or what kinds of websites they're allowed to visit. You could also block certain apps or games that you feel are inappropriate.

Find out more about GoHenry’s parental controls

GoHenry’s smart parental controls let you manage set limits on what they can spend their money on online. This includes setting a daily, weekly or monthly allowance, as well as adding and removing blocked merchants. You can also receive notifications whenever your child uses their card, so you know exactly what they're spending their money on when they're on their mobile, laptop, or other devices.


GoHenry is also a great tool for teaching your teen about responsible spending and managing their money. Help your teen acquire healthy money management skills and sign up for GoHenry today.




Written by GoHenry Published May 13, 2022 ● 6 min read