minitips - Internet Use for Your Teens

5 Ways to Set Boundaries on Internet Use for Your Teens

Parents are often concerned about their children’s safety online, and rightfully so. One concern is that children spend more time on devices (phones, tablets, computers, etc.) than on other activities.

For many families, the internet is mostly a good thing. It’s a convenient way to research homework assignments and find information that used to be only available in libraries or books.

But it can also be a problem, like when a child’s computer and internet use take the place of other activities or interests. Learning how to get teens to set time limits and establish rules about computer use can be difficult. However, it is possible with persistence and some thoughtful planning.

Here are five ways to ensure your children are protected from the risks of online activity:

  1. Position screen time as a privilege

Many teens think screen time is a right rather than a privilege or reward. The reality is that parents have the final say when it comes to screen time, not children. Ultimately, parents are the ones who control the computer and internet access in the household.

A parent’s responsibility is to ensure that children view screen time as a privilege.

If a child gets free rein with the computer or internet and doesn’t have to adhere to any guidelines, they’re not getting a reward for good behavior or working hard.

  1. Encourage your kids to get more physical exercise

Limiting screen time and computer access won’t necessarily settle the issue of your kids getting enough exercise. Instead of just limiting computer time, encourage your children to spend more time outside.

You can play with them outside or engage in a physical activity you enjoy as a family, such as going on a walk. If the weather does not permit, playing a game indoors or playing a board game together can also work.

minitips - Internet Use for Your Teens balance and more balance
  1. Maintain a healthy balance

Everything part of your children’s lives needs healthy balance. That goes for work, sleep, exercise, diet, quiet time, and family time. Your children need to maintain a healthy balance with technology as well.

The digital world is here to stay, so parents must help their kids find a healthy balance between what’s online and the real world.

Decide on a time each week when your kids may spend extra time on their devices or the internet. Additionally, determine a time each day when the entire family takes a break from the digital world and spends time together.

  1. Arrange lots of family time

When kids spend more time on screens than they do with their families, that can hurt the entire family. It benefits everyone to spend time together doing enjoyable activities.

You could plan a day out of the house or a family vacation to an exciting location. You can also go hiking or camping, or visit the zoo or a park.

  1. Communicate with your teens about remaining safe online

Communication is critical for anything to work effectively within a home. Talk to your kids about staying safe while being online. Teach them about safe, responsible ways to socially interact with friends, play games, and get their homework done.

Final thoughts

Setting boundaries on internet use has to be a priority for any parent. You can’t keep your children away from the internet. Focus on keeping your children safe and helping them make good online decisions. Lets us pray, Lord give us the wisdom to help our children to use the internet safely in the Name of Jesus, Amen!..