How to Overcome Digital Addiction in Children
In this era of technology and digital learning, the use of gadgets has become essential in our day-to-day life. No doubt, technology has lots of advantages. It has made our life simpler in every field but, they do come with disadvantages also. For children, these digital gadgets are harmful not for their mental health but also the mind and growth. Let’s see how to defeat digital addiction in children, but before that sets have a look at what is digital addiction and what are its signs.
Recently we all have come across a deadly game called The Blue Whale. In which a teen come across challenges one after the other, over a 50-day period given by the game admin. As he accomplishes given challenges, he crosses different levels in the game. The finishing and ultimate challenge asks him to commit suicide. Scary, isn’t it? Parents beware of digital addiction, it is like an obsession in children. There are lots of dangerous online games and apps available on the internet today, that are especially dangerous for children and teens. It is dangerous for the social, mental, and emotional growth of your children. The more time children spend on their gadgets the more it can impact their brains.
Digital Addiction Definition
Digital addiction internet addiction describes the desire control sickness, which includes the obsessive usage of electronic devices, the internet, or video games. This obsession comes up with several negative consequences. These days it is important to be careful about what your children are doing on their electronic devices and it is relevant to be practical about it.
This Is What Digital Addiction Looks Like
Researchers warn that children are at a tender age where they are growing and, are prone to get lost in the digital space without adequate internet security information. Also, there are bad effects on mental health and physical health, that become violent or depressing, with a lack of adequate sleep, and difficulties in physical development. But the question is how to save their childhood from the adverse effects of this digital addiction of children?
There is no doubt that digital devices are available everywhere. It has played an important role in promoting online education. It is a major means of connecting with distant relatives and friends staying far by means of virtual conversations. According to experts, it is necessary to look into oneself before blaming another for improvement. If your child is suffering from digital addiction, then you will notice the following signs in him,
6 Common Signs To Identify Digital Addiction In Children
1. Frequent Requests
If your child is into digital addiction, he will request you for the use of his gadgets ( i-pads, laptops, video games, TV, mobiles). Your denial or taking away any of his gadgets will result in his tantrums and even anger.
2. More Addicted To Homely Comfort
Even though your child may be active on social media, they will be distancing themselves from the real-world leading to social inadequacy. Your kid will keep himself disentangled from homely and daily activities such as going to bed on time, eating on time, playing outside, spending time with the family, playing with siblings, etc., to continue using his gadget. Moreover, he will not involve in other activities like playing outdoor games or going to hobby classes.
3. Obsession With Favorite Characters
Your child gets obsessed with games or certain characters found in games, cartoons, or videos. They wouldn’t show interest in socializing with friends, relatives, and family. They will keep hounding buying stuff their favorite characters own and imitate them.
4. Develops Laziness
With the overuse of digital gadgets and electronic devices, your face to face communication time with children will reduce. As a result, they become lazy, and their risk to catch obesity or other health issues increases.
5. Gets Emotionally Weak
Children who spend excessive screen time tend to become physically inactive. Physical inactiveness weakens mental health as well. This further can make your kid emotionally weak and problems like depression result. Digital addiction in children also decreases their intelligence quotient.
6. Digital Addiction In Children Influences Productivity
We all know how beneficial technology is, but digital addiction can have a high risk of reducing productivity in young children. Because of this, they get a dependency on their gadgets for every small query they have. As a result, they will use their mind and creativity less and assume everything that appears on screen for real.
Digital Addiction Solutions
No other person, but the parents only have to take responsibility for making sure that their children practice healthy and moderate use of electronic devices. Parents need to talk and take interest in their child’s pursuit especially working parents.
1. Set Boundaries
Whenever you introduce a new gadget to your kid, you must always set its boundaries. Learn and know about the total amount of screen time recommended according to the age group your child belongs to. Schedule an appropriate time for using the device under your supervision. Avoid putting TV and electronic gadgets in your child’s bedroom. Establish gadget-free zones in your house such as dining hall, study room, bedroom, etc. Besides, as a parent always try to have meals without interruptions of any electronic gadgets such as mobile, TV as kids always learn from their surroundings.
2. Develop A Hobby
Children become subjected to electronic devices when they feel stress or lonely. This is a common problem for working parents. In such a situation, you should help your children find a hobby. You must support and encourage the subjects they love and have passion for.
Hobbies are excellent educational tools that can have many benefits for children. It can help your child learn about new opportunities, boost their confidence. Hobbies can help your child find his potential, talent, and restore self-esteem. Moreover, hobbies can improve the mental health of your child, and ensure physical well-being as well.
3. Track Their Time Online
A complete shut down to digital network is impossible, rather not fair to a growing child. So, whenever your child goes online either due to project work or recreational activities, take care of the time and sites he/she browse. In this case, setting up a timetable can be profitable. Set a timetable to keep a check on how many hours a day your child should use the internet, play games, do homework, get tuitions, hobby classes, etc. Set timetable in such a way that their digital activities won’t affect the rest of their primary activities or routine.
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4. Encourage Appropriate Usage
Educate your child about the moderate and fair use of electronic gadgets, even in your absence. Make them understand the drawbacks of its excessive use especially to your obsessive selfie teens. Explain the harmful effects of the harmful waves radiating from the mobile phone and the side effects they cause. Keep the electronic devices in a common area, not in bedrooms. Spend time together or stay around when your kids or teens are using the internet to make sure of their appropriate use online.
5. Spend Time Together
The virtual digital world has influenced the physical activity of adolescent children to a large extent. In their spare time, they stick to smartphones and the internet, while they need to spend more and more time with family and friends. Thus, spend the most time with your children whenever you can, without getting interrupted by external factors.
Arrange a small trip or picnic outside to explore a museum or a walk in a park. Try to spend quality time with your child by participating in fun activities on weekends or holidays. Quality family time builds confidence in children, improves communication skills, reduce stress, and creates strong emotional bond and relationships.
6. Listen Without Judging
Give your children space to share their likes and dislikes, and let them share their feelings without scolding, judging, or opposing them. Counsel your child regularly. Talk to your child for 20 minutes daily, it will also help you identify problems your child may be facing, but hesitating in telling you, like improper touch, body shaming, ragging, etc.
Apart from all these tips for controlling digital addiction in children, as a parent, make sure you keep yourself busy with family and children on holidays, instead of spending your time on electronic gadgets. Remember, children will copy you, so, use mobile less in front of your children. Keep yourself busy together with children at home, by doing some small things that make your children happy.
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