In my previous post I gave 5 Reasons To Limit Your Teens Texting Time. Now to go beyond just saying you need to limit their texting time I would like to offer 5 Ways To Limit Your Teens Texting Time.
1. Have a Central Store and Charge Location
Our Central Store and Charge Location is located on the main floor of our house, specifically placed in an open location. It is convenient to access during the day and also allows us to easily monitor all of the devices for our children. Since it is centrally located we can easily monitor the comings and goings of the devices (iPads, Kindles, phones). It also allows us access to the devices in the evenings when the children are in bed. Whether it is so be sure they are charging, to perform updates, or to scan through the content and usage on them, having them at a central store and charge location allows us to easily perform these tasks.
2. Set a Cut Off Time at Night
Chooses a specific time at night that your teen needs to be done with the texting device. At 9:30 pm our teen returns her phone to our Central Store and Charge Location. This serves a dual purpose in our house. First, it gets her focus and attention off the device and allows her uninterrupted time to read, interact with us, watch tv, etc. It also allows us to better monitor her time because we can easily see the device and know she has set it aside. With it down in the Central Store and Charge Location we know where it is and that she isn’t using it.
3. Put it Away at Meal Times
During meal times our phones are put at our Central Charge and Store Location and set to silence. Not only does the act of texting take away from family time, but so does the constant dinging from the devices if they were not put aside and silenced. Whatever it is can wait the 30-45 minutes for us to have dinner as a family, uninterrupted by the noise and distraction of the outside world.
4. School Time = No Phone Time
During school hours our teenager puts her phone at the Central Charge and Store Location on silent. She most often works in her room to avoid the noise and distraction of her siblings. Therefore having her phone at the CC&SL keeps it out of sight and hopefully out of mind during her school time. I believe having the device with her is too disruptive to a fluid train of thought and steady focus on her schoolwork.
5. Family Time = No Phone Time
There are times when we are together as a family. When we are playing games, eating dinner, on a family outing, or whatever the focused family time maybe be, we ask that the device not be in use. The only exception is for taking photos or videos of the family activity. If we are home the device goes to the CC&SL, if we are out maybe it stays in the vehicle, or gets put in a purse or backpack on silence.
While I realize this may not be true for your family or teen, and that you may have varying opinions or ideas about limiting teens and text time, I do believe we all can agree that always have mind, fingers and nose to the device are not the way to forge solid long lasting relationships. For us we want our teen to spend her time with the living breathing people right in front of her, and to keep in close contact with those relationships she wishes to maintain and deepen, using texting as just one means to those ends.