How Much Screen Time for Youth?

Free Device and Media Family Agreement

Screen-Time-Device-and-Media-Contract-ImageWhere in the Bible does it give the limit for how much time a teenager should spend on their iPhone, iPad, Playstation or other devices?

You’re right, there is no mention of cell phones in the Bible.

Rather, we are instructed to be fully devoted to the Lord in all we do to bring Him glory.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

Though we are talking about youth and their screen time habits, it is also a struggle most adults now face. Addiction to devices is a real thing, a struggle for Christians just as much as non-Christians. (See Adam Alter’s book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked)

In light of this, we knew our family needed to make sound choices for how our entire family — including parents — would participate in the tsunami of technology.

One area we wanted to highlight was keeping others in current physical proximity as the priority over those connecting digitally. What does that mean? Here are some examples.

  • Not having earphones in while talking with someone face-to-face
  • Not checking text notifications while eating dinner together at the table
  • Not ignoring our children to look at a video of cats on Facebook

All that to say, we came up with a Device and Media Family Agreement. It’s a contract to help make clear the expectations we have for one another as a family. It is meant to keep communication open and our screen time habits healthy instead of destructive and addictive, ultimately to the glory of God.

Here it is for you to download if your family would find it useful. It is in PDF format, and there’s also a Pages format if you would like to edit it to suit your family’s particular needs.

One area we stressed when introducing the Agreement in our family (and something I’d like to somehow include in a document revision soon) was our desire to be open in communication, such as when inappropriate content suddenly pops up on in-game ads or when friends shove a too-much-skin meme in their face, or even if temptation begins to set in. We desire to be a resource and help, not merely police.

Anything you would include or change? We’d love to hear your input in the comments.

We hope you find this helpful!

Device and Media Family Agreement (PDF)

Device and Media Family Agreement (Pages)

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