Teens and Screens

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MICHAEL SMITH, MD: The average American teenager spends about nine hours every single day on media. That includes TV, computers, and phones.

It doesn't include time spent doing homework on a computer or a tablet.

Now that's an incredible amount of time.

So how can you help your teen get away from the screen? Set limits.

Don't be afraid to say no.

Simple rules like no texting until you finish homework or no phones during dinner can go a long way.

Help them make good choices.

Some media can be beneficial.

Find apps that will help them exercise or inspire their creativity.

Encourage them to focus on one thing at a time.

It's harder to do homework when they're getting texts at the same time.

Don't let them try to multitask with a screen.

Lead by example.

Put your phone down and enjoy family time.

That will speak louder than anything you tell them to do.

For WebMD, I'm Dr. Michael Smith.