Creative Ways to Limit Screen Time With Preteens and Teens

Screen time can be a big fight in our house. Jordan is 13 and he would live on his computer if he had the choice. I am finding that I am having to often tell him more times than once to get out of his room and do something else.. So, I’ve had to come up with some great ways to limit his screen time.

TVs, Computers, iPhones, iPads – We have them all in our house so it can be hard to lay down the law and say, no you have to find something else to do. He would always be bored, or say there’s nothing to do… So, I’ve come up with creative ways to limit screen time and so far, they seem to be working well.

Telling a freshly turned teen they simply spend too much time in front of a screen they need to do something else just doesn’t work. They need to be given a bit of guidance when it comes to alternative things they could be doing with their time instead..

4 Creative ways to Limit Screen Time with Preteens and Teens:

  • Encourage Reading: We’ve come up with a plan that if our older kids completes all their homework on time, get their chores done, they can earn a brand new book each week. Jordan reads fairly quickly, so this makes sure he has something new to read. It can be very costly, so we find books at the dollar store, kobo store and the cheap section in Walmart.
  • Game Time: Board games can be very entertaining. So, we’ve got a few board games multiple people can play so the kids can get together and play even when not game night, and we’ve also bought cards and encouraged some card games he can play on his own when he just isn’t feeling like playing with the siblings.
  • Creative Writing: Kids have amazing imaginations. My teen sure does,  He is very creative, smart, witty and humorous. So we’ve got him a few note books he can create stories, write down thoughts and simple just doodle if he wants to.
  • Extra Chores: Not the most fun thing in the world but coming up with extra chores for the bored, whiny preteens and teens could be not only helpful to mom and dad but them as well. A great way to learn extra responsibility would be to give them some extra things to do around the house: Dishes, collect laundry, take the dogs for a walk, tidy up the backyard, sweep the floor. There are numerous chores we do around the house daily – getting a little extra help with them can be very nice.

limittWhen it comes to screen time and preteens/teens it can be a struggle. Limiting their time they spend on the computer, phone and iPad can be a challenge, but hopefully they will be somewhat receptive and understand why they can’t spend every moment they aren’t at school, doing homeschooling etc sitting in front of a screen.

Do you have any you could add to this list? What are some other good ways to limit screen time but give preteens something else to do?




Owner/Author at Six Time Mommy
I am a super lucky 31 year old mother of 7 (4 boys, 3 girls!) Living in Toronto, Canada. I love to blog, share experiences and bring awareness to causes, brands and products I feel strongly about. Welcome to my world on the web!

About Jeanine

I am a super lucky 31 year old mother of 7 (4 boys, 3 girls!) Living in Toronto, Canada. I love to blog, share experiences and bring awareness to causes, brands and products I feel strongly about. Welcome to my world on the web!


  1. I feel like when I limit my screen time, the kids do too. And when we have less screen time we are able to have quality time together!

  2. Thankfully mine has a few years before he’s a preteen. Right now screen time isn’t a huge concern, he still prefers outside time. But I know it’s coming! I’ll have to bookmark this for when we reach that stage.

  3. Great ideas! I think it’s important that we limit the screen time, not to deprive them of technology but to allow them to do other things as well. These are pretty creative, indeed.

  4. These are great ways to help you limit screen time for your kids. I often set an alarm to remind me to put the computer away for a bit. It can be so easy to get lost in it.

  5. Although i don’t have a teen per say, i have a 3 year old which kind of feels the same lol. He would definitely be on his tablet all day if i let him but i make sure to limit to two 30min sessions a day. These are great tips to keep them busy and making time playing or doing something productive is fun too!

  6. These are great and useful tips that I am sure my brother and sister-in-law could use. My niece is officially a pre-teen and she is quite into her tablet at the moment.

  7. This is much needed information. My grandkids want to stay on their devices all the time and I’m looking for ways to get them off. I’m going to use your tips this weekend when they’re here. Wish me luck, ha.

  8. Using books as incentive is a great idea. I think it’s important to encourage reading whenever we can at every age!

  9. I agree, technology is awesome and we should totally embrace it but it’s important to have time off from it as well especially for the kids. These are cool ideas, it’s nice to encourage reading and writing!

  10. I think we all need to step away from the screen. I like the idea of reading or just getting outside. I think it is also important to encourage conversation. So many kids these days only communicate via text and are missing out on that real connection.

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