How to Set Limits for Your Teched-out Tween
By Colleen Canney
How to set limits for your teched-out tween. By the time they hit middle school, most kids either have cell phones and Facebook accounts — or are begging to get them (“Everyone else has an iPhone!”) — leaving parents to figure out how much digital time is too much. Setting boundaries early can help keep things in balance, at least for a while.
Once kids hit their teens, social media takes a huge bite out of their free time. The average 12- to 17-year-old blasts out 60 texts every day, according to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, and nearly one-fourth of teens plug into a social media site at least 10 times per day, according to a 2011 report in the journal Pediatrics.
Here, experts explain how to set limits on your teched-out tweens … while you still can.
Talk before you make rules. Kids are more rational than we give them credit for. “If you ask kids whether they want to spend five hours a day in front of a screen, most say it’s unreasonable,” says Dr. Dina Borzekowski, professor of health, behavior and society at Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. Then set rules that they agree to keep.