For years, research regarding the impact of phone use in children has caused many parents to be concerned. With the rise of smartphone usage and its use to online learning, it can be quite hard now to control your child’s phone use.
How can you prevent your children from getting too addicted to smartphones if you can’t watch them 24/7?
How Do You Know If Your Child Is Addicted to Mobile Phones?
There are many ways to determine if your children are getting addicted to smartphones and the first notable sign of addiction is when they have been using it all day and you cannot take it away from them.
Another sign of addiction is the fact that they don’t want to go out and play since they can just stay indoors while using their smartphones.
What causes phone addiction?
In today’s modern society, exposure to smartphones is becoming normal. In fact, we rely on our smartphones to perform everyday tasks like alarm clock, calendar, grocery lists etc.
There is a connection where mental health is linked to the increase usage of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
For teens, they may drawn to feed the pressing need to keep checking their phones for notifications and developed a fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome.
For younger children, it has become a habit for a need for constant entertainment when parents use smartphones as a tool to keep their children quiet. The parents forgot it is important for children to be bored because boredom promotes creativity and imagination among other benefits like these.
Children who are addicted to their phones are at risk of childhood obesity and prone to behavioural problems like aggressiveness and difficulty in concentration. If parents or guardians do not control the smartphone use of their children, it can be damaging to their overall well-being in the long run.
Tips To Prevent Phone Addiction in Your Child
Since it can be difficult to interrupt children from their smartphones, especially now that it is essential for their studies and other needs, here are some tips that you can try to reduce their phone use and prevent addiction:
Set A No-Phone Area At Home
A great way to reduce a child’s phone addiction is by having an area in the house which does not allow phone use. It could be the living room, dining room, kitchen, or any other area that your child often stays at while glued on their phones.
It can be difficult to enforce this at first, but if you decide to do it, you can start by introducing your child to other forms of distraction like a family activity or a household chore.
For example, if your no-phone area is the kitchen, you can entice them to help you cook meals or set the plates on the table. If your no-phone area is the living room, you can play board games with them and engage them with other fun activities that you can bond together.
Show a good example
There is an adage that says children imitate what they see their parents do. If they see you on your phone every single time, they will copy you and they will have a reason to be fixated with their phones. If you try to argue against them, they will point out your actions and justify that there’s nothing wrong about it since you are doing it yourself.
With this in mind, try your best to curb down your reliance on your phone and not to check it often. Show to your child that you also have other things to busy with like watching a good program, reading a novel, or doing your hobbies. It can also be a great time for you to present them new ideas and activities that they may like to do. Take advantage of being a good role model to your kids.
Monitor Your Child’s Activities In Their Phones
If you want to reduce your child’s phone use, you should look into the special features or apps like these that will allow you to monitor their usage. Many smartphones nowadays come with parental control features to allow parents to regulate what their children can do with their phones and have it automatically stop working if it reached the daily usage limit. Parents can also view the reports through their smartphones once they connect their child’s phone to their accounts.
Make some time to check this feature in your child’s phone and adjust the settings according to your child’s needs. You should also make sure not to lend them your phone once they reach their daily usage limit so they will know that you do not tolerate that kind of behaviour.
Engage In Non-Digital Activities
Finally, you should encourage your child to do more non-digital activities by presenting and giving them the resources they need. It may be a book about a topic they like, some board games they can try, sports equipment for games that you think they may enjoy, or art supplies to make some crafts and projects. Have these activities on standby and let your child know that the materials they need are always available if they want to use.
You should also take the time to do these activities with them so that they are stimulated to do it too. Some children need some prodding and people to play with for them to try something new.
Smartphones are undeniably very valuable in today’s world as people can do almost everything with it. However, it is important to always remember that too much of something can be extremely bad, especially for children. So take your time to educate your children regarding their phone use. With some careful monitoring and by providing other alternative activities, your children can develop a healthy phone use habit that can prevent them from becoming too addicted to their smartphones.
Here are some activities that you can do with your child without technology usage: