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By Kaitlynn Christiansen

Congratulations! You have chosen to take control and limit the screen time in your family! This will not only give you the opportunity to grow closer as a family, but it will also help inspire creativity in your children and help them learn how to better interact with others. All the while, it will limit the risk of exposure to negative and dangerous outside forces that would cause them harm. The only question that looms is, “Now what?”

Transitioning to Less Screen Time

This transition may be met with resistance from the small humans of the household. It will not always be easy, but there can be ways to help bring the family into the idea. Here are a few ways to help ease the transition as a family unit:

  • Make it a family affair: Include the kids in the planning. Have a family meeting and tell them the goal, and then as a family create little goals to help you reach the bigger one. 
  • Approach the change with positivity: Discuss with the kids about all the opportunities they will have. Talk about how too much screen time can affect how they learn and grow. Teach them that some is okay, but it’s important for our lives to be balanced.
  • Follow through: Make sure you have a solid way to follow through with your goals. Be accountable to each other as a family. You can do this by talking about how the week went as a family at a weekly family meeting or even as you are sitting around the dinner table telling each other about your day. 

Setting Goals as a Family

Earl Nightingale, an American motivational speaker said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” You have taken a great first step by deciding to limit family screen time, and goals are absolutely essential to continuing forward. As mentioned above, this transition may be a bit difficult, and one of the solutions is to make mini goals that will eventually end in achieving your overall goal. Some ways of going about this are:

  • Discuss with your children what they believe would be a doable goal: If their voices are heard, they will be more likely to get on board with the idea.
  • Set weekly screen time goals: At the beginning of the week, have a family meeting and talk about the screen goal you decided on, and then implement it as a family. Throughout the week, work as a family to keep the goal, and then discuss your progress at the end of the week. 
  • Make achievable goals: Each family looks different and has different needs, so be sure to tailor your goals to match what works for your family. 

Suggestions for Mini Goals

There are many different types of mini-goals that you can choose to set. To start out, here are a few suggestions of mini, weekly goals you can start out with: 

  • Begin with a goal focused on screens and bedtime: It can be as simple as “no screens an hour before bedtime” or “no screens in the bedrooms”. The positive effects of limited-to-no screens around or during sleep are astronomical. 
  • Decide on an amount of time that screens are allowed through the day: To assist with this, you can have the children learn how to use timers to help teach them  to take responsibilty for themselves. 
  • Have a place for tablets and phones: Set up a charging station and when screen time is over, everyone can put away their tablets and move on to the next activity.  
  • Set mini goals to replace screen time with play time: At a time when the kids would usually be on electronics, replace that with going to the park, or spending creative playtime in their bedrooms. 

Goals are so important. Limited screen time can bring your family closer together and help your children live more fulfilling lives. We have the ability to fortify and create bonds in our family. If we stick to our rules and goals, while including our children in the discussion, we can work together and make our homes happier, safer places. 

For more ideas on how to use technology in healthy, appropriate ways, check out our book: Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology For Good.


Kaitlynn Christiansen is an elementary teacher who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She loves to learn and is passionate about educating families about healthy relationships. 


Foerster, M., Henneke, A., Chetty-Mhlanga, S., & Röösli, M. (2019). Impact of Adolescents’ Screen Time and Nocturnal Mobile Phone-Related Awakenings on Sleep and General Health Symptoms: A Prospective Cohort Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(3), 518.

Team, T. S. (2022, November 3). 100 Best Earl Nightingale Quotes on What it Takes to Succeed in the World Today. The Strive. 


Make Tech Your Servant, Not Your Master

“They need to be our servants, not our masters. For example, if later tonight you share inspiring thoughts from this devotional on social media, your smartphone is a servant. If you randomly surf the Internet, your smartphone is a master.”–Russell M. Ballard


Conversations with My Kids

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Check out Conversations With My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age. Talking points and handy discussion questions to have meaningful talks about the real issues of the day. Addressing tough topics on an ongoing basis strengthens kids, brings you closer together, and opens the door when your kids need to tell you something REALLY important.

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