What time do you shut down screentime at night for your teens?

I take phones up between 9-9:30 and plug them in to charge at a charging station next to my bed. I’m horrified by how many of my sons’ friends are up sending messages at all hours of the night. My oldest tells me he gets lonely and sad at night and wants to be able to talk to friends but that’s a non-starter. I’m using the same rules as when I was a kid - if it’s too late to call someone on the home phone, it’s too late to text them.

What time do you shut down the screens for your teens?

We do about the same- ours plug their devices in to our family charging station in the dining room downstairs before bedtime, which is typically about 8pm - 8:30 at the latest on a school night (later times depending on if we have later evening practices and activities). On weekend and summer nights it’s a little later depending on if we get to sleep in the next morning, maybe 10pm at the latest. :slight_smile:

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We also lock phones at 9pm every night. Bedtime is around 10pm so we try to get at least an hour of no blue light activity before bedtime. I agree they shouldn’t be texting all hours.

I use Bark but also found that it works best with Android devices. On top of that I use Google Family Link which I can lock the entire phone (Except for emergency calls) so that they can’t use it for text. Not sure about iOS but there might be something similar you can find if you use an iPhone.

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We shut down at 6:00 pm on school nights and 10::00 or 11:00 pm on weekends and holidays. (We turn the WiFi off.) My teen (13 year old) just got a phone. We take it to our room at night to make sure he actually sleeps at night.

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Bedtime is at 9:30 and the expectation is that phones are shut down at that time as well.

Just FYI, they can still text when family link is locked. They have to keep unlocking it and only get a few seconds but they can.

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On Apple products, you can set the phone, iPad, or iPod to automatically shut down whatever hours you want. It’s in settings, you just put in a master password. My kids devices turn off at 9pm. They turn back on at 6am. They can “request” more time if it’s a weekend and it sends a message to my phone to approve of not. You can also limit their app times. So my kids get a total of 4 hours app time weekdays and a little more weekends.
So, I don’t have to fight with taking phones away and they can still use their phones as alarm clocks for school.
The nice this about this is if I want to go to bed early on a weekend and they want to stay up and watch a movie, I don’t have to wake back up to take the device away.

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My kids also found that they can still use Google Assistant when Family Link has their phones locked.

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Hi! I’m new to bark and am looking forward to learning more about it… Is it possible to shut down everything through Bark? Thanks

I use family time to control screen time, lock the phone and block apps. Bark is a great addition to the family time, since with the family time I can’t actually SEE what he is looking at. I use both so I can control and see everything. I recommend it

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what Apple product is this?

We use screentime on the iPod 7 (the newest) and the iPhone 8

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We have our 16 year old son’s screen time automatically shut off at 9:30PM. He then knows to put the phone up in our designated area and he goes to bed.

How to you set it up to automatically lock the phones with a master passcode? Two of my kids have iPhones with their own Apple ID and the other is an Android with his own Gmail

Hi, @Kelly_Guidry! Here you’ll find steps to set up iOS Screen Time, which will allow you to use Down Time to disable use of your kids’ phones (with the exception of the Phone app) at times of your choosing.

For the Android, you can do this with Google’s Family Link.

We use and like both of these for our iOS devices and Androids. :slight_smile: I hope this helps!

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And yes, I get that occasional teen roll of the eye and phrase “Ok Boomer” which is their latest teen cutdown for parents too. Every generation seems to have a way to remind their parents that they just aren’t cool, hip or even as knowledgeable about stuff today as when they were in school.

In hindsight, when my mom used to hassle me about putting on a jacket to stay warm before heading off to school, I probably gave her a little attitude reminding her about the fact that she didn’t need to remind me about living in a small Okla town where she had to walk 5 miles or more in the snow to school every day (you know, like when dinosaurs walked the earth). I’m pretty sure (as a first grade top group Texas teacher) she didn’t appreciate that snarky comment either. But at some point, we all do have to stop being helicopter parents too. It’s hard to let go but the more independence you give your kids to let them make small mistakes when they are younger with smaller consequences, the better off they will be. You don’t want their first mistake to be a major one that gets them in trouble with the law or worse ruins them the rest of their life. Let them get licensed to drive at age 15 with Learner’s permits too. It’s inconceivable to me that parents want to delay an important skill necessary to getting a future part time or full time job like driving for teens. Would you rather be out on the road driving next to a teen with 4 years of driving under their belt or next to one who just turned 18 and got his first license and now is gonna try to manage driving the crazy toll roads and fast moving traffic to drive to his first college or university out of town when he’s not even a skilled driver yet? I just shake my head at parents who say their kids aren’t mature enough. They don’t get mature if you baby them or helicopter parent them their entire lives in school. My dad loaned me the family car in my high school years with his gas card so that when my girl friends and I went out, I was in control of the small group and I wouldn’t get left behind either. It worked. I still had to advise where I went, phone when I was leaving and let them know and had a weeknight and weekend different curfew times but it gave me freedom to make friends outside of school and develop a social network and I didn’t need an online account to gain a million followers either. I had real face to face friends in church school sports and outside clubs or activities too. It does help fight depression and online cyber bullies to get them out together at least once in a weekend with your teens too.

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4 hours? All their homework is online in today’s world and that includes school group projects where they might be part of a team assignment and have to do online research to gather info, do footnote quotes to document what online source or article they used and even prepare Google Doc slides and then group submits their work to their teachers online.

Teachers might hand out a hard copy first week note or calendar about deadlines but most work is now sent online by teachers and kids log online to do the work. Even though my kids get the hard textbooks they sit like brick paperweights in our kitchen bar area. These kids read their textbooks online now and many are assigned chapter quiz work that requires logging into a site like Its Learning or getting an attachment or rush late night teacher note in the Remind Mobile app about bringing in their hard copy textbook next day to go over something in class. Most teachers try to have a complete hard copy set in their classrooms but lots of schools are overcrowded with students these days and they have to send 9pm or even early 6:30am texts or Remind app notes to kids to not forget to bring books to class next day. It’s sad I get a late PM teacher text or early preschool teacher group broadcast text but this is the new millennium and teachers don’t use paper and pencil or hard copy homework or give out assignments that are done in hard copy form too much anymore. They all have Smart electronic boards and do PowerPoint or GoogleDocs slide presentations so it’s key for parents to understand that reading textbook work and answering chapter questions or participation in group school projects where your kid might have an individual part online to research, prepare online parts for, and submit all work online to teachers is critical. You might want to check their homework assignments though when they get in high school, many teachers will push back on parents that want to find out work assigned to micro manage students getting it done. I have had Millenial teachers even reject the idea that I was gonna help manage my high school son’s homework getting it done because they said they were teaching kids to become independent responsible teens by giving the work to them and the kids alone were on task to make sure it got done. It’s a constant pushback with some teachers (hate to categorize these but many were coaching outside sports so they ran their classrooms like they did their sports and were highly critical of my attempts as a single divorced mom trying to get individual homework copies or info to make sure my sons turned it in on time. I’m thankful I have an Honors student straight A freshman son but my Senior son who has ADHD and takes only 1 tiny Adderrall pill daily has had a much tougher time finishing work in time. He’s had to repeat a few classes and now will not graduate Senior year until he’s age 19 next May 2021 because his public high school charges lots of Money per course for paying teachers summer wages to teach in their summers off too (for those who need summer school). I don’t have almost $300-$500 per flunked course for him nor $800 or more to pay these outside tutors and doing before school or after school free teacher tutorials for 1 hour daily doesn’t seem to help much either. So be patient. Use the Xfinity XFi mobile app to control your WiFi network and put the router where you can shut it on or off with your mobile XFi app or else physically since kids can still use internet without WiFi too. They are smarter these days and so parenting is much harder than when I grew up in the 70’s (I’m a 58 year old older single divorced mom to an almost 18 year old and 15 year old teen sons who are both 6 ft 2” tall and could put me underneath their armpits).

Don’t forget about your network. Kids have to do homework online so that has to be monitored early as soon as they get home that it’s done first or they will notoriously try to play online or text friends or watch YouTube videos or do anything to put off homework until right before bed and then demand extra time to stay up online to finish work. I recall as an honors student having a high level of homework and staying up some nights late to finish it but my work back then wasn’t assigned online to do like teachers do in Its Learning and other online sites where they post info about home work like the Remind mobile app either. So it’s hard to pull plug on all electronics cause you want them to finish online Google docs work if they have group assigned work for a group project and they have to prepare slides or stuff like PowerPoint slides we used to do.

I still use 9:30pm bedtime as cutoff but if they can show me they still are actively working to finish legitimate online work, I will let one of them stay up as long as they can to get it done. In High School, sometimes that might mean almost midnight but nothing later as they still have to get up by 7:00am. We are fortunate to live across the street from school which tardy bell rings at 7:45am and they are out by 3:00pm.

Get Comcast XFi mobile app. It can control all electronics individually like all laptops, xboxes, playstations, mobile phones, TV sets, desktops and laptops. Set up a profile for each person and assign all their electronics to each profile. Then at bedtime, you can go to your phone and pause all devices under each profile or pause only individual things if they still need Pc access to finish work. Kids are sneaky. They will grab earbuds and headphones and plug into their phones or PCs to watch videos or movies under covers or chat all night with friends. They will try to take phones devices into bathrooms too (not cool). You don’t need a nightly battle but just control over your router—no router on, no TV, no phone comes on and no Pc can work. Use your phone mobile XFINITY XFi app (don’t bother with taking up cell phones or grabbing game controllers every night).

My 13 yr old found a way around screentime… They just reset the general settings and it resets all the app settings on their phone. That’s why I am trying Bark now. He’s a sneak kid… ugh…

I actually have the same “layout” but on iOS. With Apple’s screen time, everything locks down at 9 and bed time is at 10