Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

COURSE LOGIN

Ask Dr. Meg: Is Limiting our Teens Screen Time Too Strict?

Picture of Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Hi Dr. Meeker,

I need your help! Our 16-year-old daughter is a beautiful young lady. We love her. However, we feel the time she is spending on social media is ridiculous. She is on it all the time. Going to her room after dinner and on social media for probably 4-6 hours a day and then more on the weekends. She is a very good girl but we don’t like how much time she is on it. How much time should she be allowed? We told her a few minutes in the morning to check to see what her friends were saying and then an hour in the evening and that’s it. Is that too strict?

– Worried Parents

Dear Worried,

Nope. This is absolutely not too strict. The reason you doubt yourself is because you are responding to your good instincts while your friends aren’t. Here’s the deal. Teenagers cannot monitor their time on social media because they can get addicted to seeing what others think of them. Also, they have no clue how much social media can harm them. This means that you need to be the tough guy or gal and make some really hard and fast rules about social media.

Here’s what I would do:

Tell her that having a phone is a privilege. But, because you are a parent who loves her dearly, you must make some rules about spending time on it because it prevents her from doing other things that are better for her – spending face-to-face time with you, friends, etc. Also, it interferes with her creativity – being away from screens/social media will actually stimulate her brain growth.

Tell her that she can check her social media quickly in the morning. At school, she is not allowed on. Tell her that you will be able to tell how much she is using it (you can get programs that follow what she is doing – or you will talk to her teacher.) When she gets home, she’s allowed on her phone for 1 hour (using another device to get on social media counts, too.) After that, her phone goes in a specific spot that you can see easily – a basket in the kitchen, etc.

When you tell her that this is what’s happening, tell her that the whole family is working on spending less time on phones. Talk to everyone else in the family and ask them to comply. Kids are far more likely to go along with a rule if they know they are not being singled out. This means that you and your husband, along with other kids need to put your phones in the same place as hers to show that you are working toward the same goal.

Finally, get ready for a knock-down drag-out fight when you tell her this. But DO NOT let this bother you and under no circumstances should you give in. She will scream and complain for days but know that what you are doing for her is literally life-changing. This move will change her brain development. She may threaten to run away and tell you that you are a bad parent. Oh well. Often, the more extreme kids react – this is a clue that they are addicted. They act just like an alcoholic who has had alcohol taken away.

I hope that all you other parents are reading this. I am convinced that if we all stick together and take control of our kids’ phones, kids will be much more willing to comply. And remember – YOU own the phone. Using it is a privilege, not a right for our kids.

Our Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

As a practicing pediatrician and mother I recommend Phyla because it works wonders without any side effects and is backed by dermatologists.

Visit phylabiotics.com, enter code DRMEEKER at checkout, and start your journey to healthier skin.

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life!

Sign up at Crunchlabs.com/DRMEG and get 2 boxes free!

That’s why you’ve got to check out AquaTru.

AquaTru purifiers use a 4-stage reverse osmosis purification process, and their countertop purifiers work with NO installation or plumbing.

Transform Your Tap Water

Air Doctor

Air Doctor, purification to protect your home! Head to airdoctorpro.com and use promo code DRMEG and you’ll receive UP TO $300 off air purifiers!

Cozy Earth
Our goal is to help you create a sanctuary within your home, a refuge from the demands of the outside world.

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Acorns makes it easy to start automatically saving and investing for your future. Head to acorns.com/ or download the Acorns app to start saving and investing for your future today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Born Shoes

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Crunch-Labs-Meeker

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to Crunchlabs.com/DrMeg and get yours today!

Powerful purification to protect your home

Lock this special offer by going to A-I-R-D-O-C-T-O-R-P-R-O dot com and use promo code DRMEG.

Discover luxury she deserves!

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Save, invest and learn from one easy app.

Visit acorns.com

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

More Posts

Sponsors

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love!

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription.

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals.

The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  

Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy.

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood