Establish and stick to a social media policy that prohibits technology from being used while getting ready for school, eating family meals, completing homework or after bedtime.
What you can say
“Sofia, it’s OK after your homework is done and everything is organized for tomorrow for you to be in touch with your friends until just before bed. But we need to figure out a way to manage the late-night texts, Facebook postings, etc. How do you think we can do this?”
“I know you want to keep in touch with all your friends, even at night. But getting enough sleep is really important. I don’t want you to be totally groggy and miserable at school tomorrow. So let’s talk about how we can keep you somewhat in touch but not have your phone on and in your room all night.”
“Tell your friends that I’m the bad guy here. Tell them, ‘Sorry, but the rule in our house is no texting during these times or activities.’”
Why this will help
Social media is very important to tweens and teens. But parents need to prevent it from becoming an endless source of distraction. It can throw kids off schedule and negatively affect family interactions. Your child may actually appreciate that you are willing to be the “bad guy” and enforce rules that give her a little downtime.