Work with your child on ways to keep social media from becoming too much of a distraction during homework and extracurricular activities. Look together at his schedule and try to set aside specific times when he can use social media.
Another option is to “bank” a set number of minutes each day during which he can use social media. Let him choose whether to use up all of his minutes at once or sprinkle them out over the course of the day. You can also increase or decrease his daily limit as an incentive to follow the rules.
What you can say
“Jacob, you’re one popular guy. It seems like you get more and more texts and video-chat requests every day. It also seems like you’re struggling to fit everything else in and answer all those messages too.”
“It helps me to put my phone away and set a little time aside after every hour or two to deal with emails and texts. I’d never get everything done if I stopped to look at every message as soon as it came in.”
“I know it’s important for you to stay in touch with your friends, so let’s look at the daily schedule and see how much screen time you can fit in. Let’s start with 30 minutes a day and see how it goes.”
“Where do you want to fit it in? Right after dinner seems like a good time, I agree. Mark it on your calendar. You can leave your phone in the charger in the kitchen after you’re done.”
Why this will help
It’s important to recognize the importance of social media in your child’s world as he attempts to keep up with all that’s going on with friends. But it’s just as important to help him come up with a way to fit social media in with everything else he has to accomplish. Setting a schedule and rewarding him when he sticks to it will reinforce a healthy balance.