How to Set Limits with Your Teens and Texting


Texting might seem like an innocent activity. You receive a text, read it, and send one in return. What could be wrong with that? However, when teens continue to text, having texting conversations, or text intermittently while doing other work, it can have some negative physical and emotional effects. Excessive texting and use of technology in general can have some harmful consequences.


For instance, here are the ways that texting can affect teens:


Texting can disrupt the learning process. According to research, 64% of teens text while in class. They tend to also tend while doing homework, studying for a test, or focusing in on a subject. Texting can interfere with these processes.

Texting can contribute to poor sleeping habits. Teens need approximately 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep. However, with boundary setting by parents, teens can easily stay up late into the night and wake up after noon. Texting can keep teens up late at night, later than they should. And often, texting goes on under the covers without parents knowing. Having a regular sleep pattern can promote a healthy mind and facilitate the growth teens are doing during this stage of life.

Texting can erode self-confidence. There is something important about being able to stand strong in who you are. Having face to face communication with others helps build self-confidence, inner strength, and self-esteem. Texting allows teens to hide behind their phones and write things they might not otherwise say to others.

Texting can lead to sexting. This is a form of texting that includes sexual content. If parents don’t want their teens to engage in sexual behavior so soon, this is another reason to limit texting.

Texting can undermine safe driving. It is illegal to text and drive in most states. When teens are at an age to drive, learning to put the phone away can save lives!

Texting can be addictive. Some teens send more than 200 texts a day! Like any addictive behavior, this can become excessive and interfere with a teen’s daily life.

For these reasons and more, parents might want to put limits on the amount of texting their teen does daily. They may also want to limit the use of technology in general. Here are some ways that a parent might establish in their teen a healthier relationship with technology:


  • talk to your teen about the dangers of texting, such as those listed above
  • set clear boundaries about the use of technology and texting (such as no texting while in class or after 9pm)
  • monitor your teen’s texting
  • stay involved in your teen’s life
  • know who your teen is spending time with
  • give your teen choices when it comes to


These are suggestions for a healthy relationship with technology so that teens don’t get bombarded with emails, texts, and Facebook messages. Texting in moderation can lead to healthy and happy lives.