Updated: Apr 16, 2020
Four simple steps to reducing screen time in your home and family.
Is your teen addicted to their phone?
As a youth mentor, whenever I ask teens, "What's the one thing that's consuming your time and keeping you from reaching your potential?" -- they usually tell me,
"My phone" or "Video games."
Teenagers recognize it is a problem in their life.
But it's a tough balance.
I love technology. It helps me to connect, to influence others, to reach more people, to build my business, to teach online classes to amazing youth around the world. There are amazing resources, online classes, and so much more.
Technology is a great tool. But we can also become a slave to it if we're not careful.
Technology gives us the ability to connect with people all over the world. But the danger is that it makes it easier for us to DISconnect with people in our own home.
It also can prevent you from connecting with your purpose, passion, and life mission. Getting lost in your virtual life keeps you from fully living your real life!
We can't just go through life spending all of our time on our phones and gadgets!
So how can we help our teens (and ourselves) break those addictions and make sure we've got a healthy relationship with your devices?
Here are some things I've seen work with the youth and parents I mentor:
1. Be willing to lead the way
If you want to teach and preach but not set the example, your teen is not likely to listen.
Because if you went to your teen right now and said, "Hey! Stop spending so much time on your phone!" -- how's that going to go over?
It's not. You have to try 'replacement therapy' -- they need something bigger, something better, something more exciting than what they can find on their phone. They need a vision, a purpose, a plan.
But in order to inspire it in them, it has to start with YOU!
YOU have to be willing to take action on the following steps.
2. Have a BIG dream
Most people escape to their phones because their own life is boring. Teens especially need something in their life that challenges them and makes them feel ALIVE!
You need something GREAT to work on -- something D.U.M.B. (Demanding, Unrealistic, Meaningful, and BOLD!)
Pick a one year period and identify something BIG to go after. It could be:
Read a book a week (or really go after it and read TWO books a week)
Do 100 consecutive pushups
Race in a triathlon, marathon, or ULTRA marathon!
Study or memorize something BIG
Become fluent in another language by the end of the year
Travel somewhere you've always wanted to go
Climb Mt. Fuji in Japan or Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
The point is to pick something big and exciting, something that gets you out of bed in the morning and you can't think about anything else because you want to do this SO bad!