Make time to turn off the screen and focus on the world around you. (Desiree Panlilio).
Well, well, well! Summer is here and teens are free to enjoy the sun, friends, and… screens? That’s the question on every parent’s mind, isn’t it? Should you limit screen time or let them do as they please? Frankly, I don’t have an answer. But what I do suggest is having an honest conversation with your teenager and setting some expectations on screen time. That way, you’ll both know what to expect and you can plan accordingly.
And when it comes to planning, why not try something other than staring at a screen all day? Like, oh, I don’t know, getting a job or doing some volunteer work to rack up some hours for graduation? Or maybe your teen can pick up a book – a real, paper book – and lose themselves in another world for a while. It might not be their first choice, but they might be surprised at how much they enjoy it.
But let’s not forget the great outdoors! Get them out of the house and explore the neighborhood, go for a hike, or even plan a road trip (within the boundaries set by parents, of course). You never know what kind of conversation you might have when you’re disconnected from the internet and enjoying each other’s company.
And if all else fails, there’s always board games and cooking. Yes, you read that right. Board games and cooking! Try playing “Sorry!” or “Clue” and show your teenager who’s boss. And while you’re at it, teach them how to cook something more complicated than ramen noodles. It might not turn out perfect, but at least they’ll have some cooking skills before heading off to college.
Lastly, why not get creative with some photo collages? Your teen can take some cool Instagram photos with their friends and make a collage to hang on their wall. It’s a great way to decorate their room and remember the good times.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to screen time. But hopefully, these ideas will provide some fun alternatives to staring at a screen all day. And if not, well, there’s always pizza delivery. Just don’t forget to tip the driver!