If your teenager spends too long on Facebook, firstly, ask your teenager about the dangers of Facebook.
If your teenager can understand why Facebook time should be limited, you’ve won half the battle.
But if you give your teenager a whole list of disadvantages of Facebook, they’ll automatically think of all the reasons why Facebook is good. That’s how their brains are wired.
So instead, ask them what they think about Facebook, what the dangers are, and how hard it is to turn it off. They might come up with:

  • How easy it is to lose track of time.
  • How it eats away time they could spend on
  • schoolwork,
  • sleep,
  • reading,
  • doing activities,
  • meeting friends,
  • talking with the family,
  • having real conversations
  • And resolving arguments face to face.
  • How addictive it is.
  • How hard it would be to not check it for a day.
  • How seeing photos of friends having fun can make them jealous and miserable.
  • How people post comments or photos that they shouldn’t and the damage that can do.
  • How much higher their chances are of being bullied online.

Or come across inappropriate photos or videos that they can’t ‘un-see.’

​Secondly, agree some guidelines together and help them stick to it.
Ask how they would feel if there’re were chunks of the evening where all the electronics were switched off. Such as when they’re doing homework and at mealtimes. Or when you’re having family time.
Ask what they think would be sensible guidelines for time spent on Facebook.
And give them your opinion too. Then negotiate and agree some guidelines between you.
And –knowing how hard it is to switch it off, ask what help they need from you to help them stick to the limit.

And finally, if they haven’t suggested this themselves, get them to agree that at night, mobiles, tablets and laptops are charged downstairs.
Your teenager needs their sleep to function well and not be grumpy.
Teenage willpower is at its lowest at night.
That includes their ability to be sensible about what they post online, and their ability to turn Facebook off so they can sleep.
So, when they go to bed, have a set place downstairs where they charge their devices. So they’re not tempted to go on Facebook late at night.
This will also help reduce the amount of radiation they’re exposed to, which lowers their risk of developing brain tumours and other cancers.

So to stop your teenager spending so long on Facebook, 3 things you can do are:

  1. Ask your teenager about the dangers of Facebook.
  2. Agree a time limit and help them stick to it. 
  3. Charge mobiles, tablets and laptops downstairs overnight.

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If you need more than three tips on this – or you’d like to discover the secrets you need to have happy well-behaved, children – please contact me by clicking here. You can arrange a free 20-minute (no obligation) chat to find out if working with me personally (by phone, Skype or face-to-face) would help you and your family. Contact Elizabeth

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

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