Teens are inevitably elbow-deep in all things tech from the moment they wake up. They start the morning glued to their cellphones and then carry their school-issued laptops from class to class only to return to the phone at every opportunity. It’s no surprise that teens often have a hard time breaking away from the tech and paying attention to the real world. Tech usage is a hot button that teens and parents are frequently at odds over, and it can lead to family strife when parents try to impose limits.

But what should parents do when teens stay up late texting with friends or scrolling social media? The expert advice: Take the teen’s device at bedtime and charge it in your room or someplace where they cannot get to it. This tip was shared by parenting expert Dr. Lucie Hemmen in a recent TikTok, and it really resonated with parents.


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♬ original sound – Dr.LucieHemmen

The benefits of taking your teen’s device at night are manifold, Dr. Hemmen explains. “First and foremost, it protects routines and sleep. Teens are much more emotionally regulated. They do better in school, they’re better in the home, and they’re better socially when they get their required sleep—and most teenagers get far less than their required sleep.” Removing the device at night sets a natural endpoint to the day and lets kids wind down screen-free.

Related: We’re Going to Try This Teacher’s Cellphone Policy at Home

Another benefit of taking away your teen’s device at night is that “the later at night it is, the poorer the choices on social media or texting,” Dr. Hemmen says. “So you’re really protecting your teen from making the kinds of decisions that create drama for them the next day and a ton of anxiety.”

Chances are, setting this boundary will initially result in pushback from your teen. But standing firm and having a united parenting front will show your child that you mean business and no amount of arguing will get you to give in. And honestly, what parent doesn’t need their own device taken away at night as well? We could all use a little less tech and a little more sleep.

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