top of page

The Four M Model 
Manage, M
onitor, Meaningful, Model

Harm reduction is a way to minimize physical and/or social consequences typically associated with negative human behaviors (Harm Reduction Coalition, 2023). Informed by Harm Reduction, this model can be utilized as a strategy for parents of adolescents to help provide a balance between life on and away from the screen.

(Common Sense Census, 2021)


  • Set Rules and Boundaries

    • Implement screen-free times (i.e. before school, during homework, meal times and before bedtime)

    • Teens can be pushy; be sure to enforce rules and boundaries as research supports these interventions

  • Establish Tech-Free Zones and Nights

    • Designate certain spaces and times restricting screen use to focus and spend quality time

  • Unplug to Digital Detox

    • Use this time to spend outside, to talk to each other, and enjoy social interactions and activities away from the screen

Cooking Class


  • Quality of Use

    • In collaberation with your teen, set parental controls on your children's devices

  • Observ

    • Impacts of screen use on teen's moods, behaviors, daily routines, hygiene

  • Screen Safety 

    • Problematic and troublesome apps to look out for on your child’s phone: Discord, Grindr, Hoop, Kik, Omegle, Vault Apps, Whisper, and Yik Yak

Meaningful Use and  Connection

  • Recognize age-appropriate content 

    • Talk to your teen about unrealistic and inappropriate content 

  •  Identify other hobbies, interests, and activities 

    • Encourage your teen to be involved in extracurricular activities (i.e. sports, dance, art, drama and other clubs)

  •  Connect with friends and family  

    • Ensure your teen is planning adequate time with friends away from screens


  • Be aware of your own screen use  

    • Set examples by setting boundaries with your words and actions ​

  •  Practice what you preach 

    • Display the boundaries and behaviors you expect from your teen (i.e. no screens at the dinner table for everyone) 

bottom of page