Posted on 14 Jan 2020 by Admin | 3 min read
Today, one of the major concerns for most of the parents are about their kids spending too much time on the internet. Technology addiction can be a problem for people of any age. But, too much screen time and social media addiction can be damaging to a child’s developing brain. Physical activities, social interactions, extracurricular activities are necessary for a child’s brain development. And, addiction to digital technology can hamper all this.
Gone are the days when children enjoyed playing outdoors. Today, most kids are glued to digital devices, be it in the name of education/entertainment. These days children are plugged into gadgets from a young age. Switching them off or playing outside is often met with techno-tantrum.
What does digital addiction look like?
Some of the signs that show your child might be developing an addiction for digital media are:
- They become moody, irritable, or depressed when offline.
- Kids getting irritable on denial of access to the web.
- Disobeying rules set for time spent on digital media.
- Losing interest in playing sports that they enjoyed before.
- Checking social media and emails throughout each day.
How can you Prevent Digital Addiction in Children? There are several ways to break down the digital addiction in your kids. From gradual transitions to replacement activities, here are several ways parents can wean their kids off electronic gadgets.
- Limit the usage of TV, computers, mobile phones and other gadgets to a maximum of 30 minutes at a time. This would slowly cut down the number of hours the child has access to gadgets.
- Set an appropriate time frame for using digital devices. Plan physical activities and extracurricular activities to engage your child for most of the time.
- Designate ‘tech-free’ times such as during meals, homework, travelling and bedtime and ‘tech-free’ zones such as in the bedroom, dining area and in the car.
- Monitor your kid’s access to digital media by using electronic gadgets with them. View this as an opportunity to communicate, interact and share family values.
- Lay down some rules for digital curfew where no digital devices will be allowed such as during family discussions, playing indoor/outdoor games or when other extended family members visit.
- Ensure not to provide any kind of electronic gadget to kids below three years of age. This will avoid distraction from major developmental milestones.
- Interact more with your child which has to be exclusive and a one-to-one time with your child.
- When you restrict your child from using digital media, find other interactive outlets and creative solutions such as learning to play a musical instrument, pursuing arts and crafts, enrolling them in sports team, etc.
- Reward them with verbal appreciation when they have put in efforts to keep themselves away from the digital media. This will serve as a positive reinforcement to wean off your kids.
We all live in a time of rapid technological innovation. These technologies give way to tremendous opportunities for for all of us to connect, engage and bond. But, we also need to be careful of how we adopt these technologies into our lives and their consequences on ourselves and our children. If you are concerned about the usage of digital media by your child, we recommend you to develop a family media plan.
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