Screen Time Convo Starters

Conversation Starters for Younger Youth

Screens are virtually unavoidable. Not only have they become a critical tool for communication between adolescents (and adults), tech and the use of screens in place of textbooks, in-class learning, and at-home assignments hit schools like a tidal wave in recent years.  And let’s face it, sometimes allowing a child to have some screen time is also a coping mechanism for a caregiver to occupy their youth.

Start conversations with them about the positive and negative effects of screen time early and consider evaluating your own screen usage with a critical eye.

Conversation Starters for Preteens & Teens

Involve them! Discuss screen time with them, and help bring awareness by engaging them in evaluating their own screen usage. Preteens and teens are often more aware than we give them credit for, and may even have concerns about their own tech usage. Whether they do or don’t, helping them understand what their caregivers believe to be appropriate, healthy, and reasonable can help them monitor their own usage.

  • “How much screen time a day do you feel is an appropriate amount?”
  • “What are some ways that you can achieve digital balance? How can we start to set some of these goals for ourselves?” {This can include downtime, time limits on certain apps, disconnecting from social media, and/or reducing the amount of time your young person is on or picks up their phone/computer to check messages or posts.}
  • “What would you do if you accidentally clicked on a website containing adult content or inappropriate images?”
  • “Can you tell me some effects that you may experience due to too much screen time? For me, it makes me moody as I move my body less. My eyes also tend to feel tired.”
  • “Does technology allow you to connect with things that you are passionate about or is it hindering those things? Are you controlling your technology or is it controlling you?”