Technology is the reality of today’s era. No matter how much we try, smartphone addiction is clearly visible not just in adults but among the kids as well. Nowadays even a child has a personal smartphone which has become an inseparable part of their lives. Handing smartphones to kids is the easiest way to deal with their boredom. But, you must not forget how risky they are for your child’s growth.
Smartphone addiction is a thing and the increased usage of phones is affecting their lives more than you realize. Due to this smartphone addiction, not only these children lack focus and discipline, but their mental growth is also adversely affected. With everything going digital, whether it is a magazine, newspaper, camera, MP3 player or game console, it has become all the more difficult for parents to keep their children away from their smartphones. But with the right approach, anything is possible.
Now, for solving this problem, let us first try to understand the problem.
What is causing smartphone addiction among children?
Smartphones are easy to carry, their multi functional features allow your child to do so many things at a time. For this reason, children are controlled by these smartphones. There are certain factors that fuel your child’s surging screen time more than ever. Let’s know what are those –
Well, boredom is the biggest reason behind your child’s smartphone addiction. You are already aware of how much children in earlier times were used to engage in outdoor activities. But with a busy lifestyle and nuclear family culture, whenever your little ones need to entertain themselves, they lean to smartphones.
Surroundings develop the character of a child, they learn most of the practical habits and lessons from their environment.
What surrounds children most of the time?
Of course, their parents. Surprisingly, parents spend most of their leisure time ogling on to screens so how can they expect something else from their children.
Do you know that according to a survey conducted in June 2020 in 30 cities, how many children were found to be affected by smartphone addiction due to the pandemic?
More than 65%. Not only this, 50% could not stay away from phones for even half an hour. Sadly, many children started suffering from no mobile phone phobia as only smartphones were at their disposal for entertainment as well as educational purposes during lockdown.
How to reduce the usage of smartphone among children?
What’s done is done. It is high time, you do something to save your child before they fall deep into this swamp. Here I am providing some easy but effective ways to release your children from the shackles of smartphones:-
- Set screen time limits for children
Teaching your child some discipline is the best way to kick start the journey of digital-detox. To curb their smartphone addiction, set a time limit for your children on phone usage, like twenty minutes in the morning as well as in the evening on weekdays and little flexibility on weekends. The initial days might get a bit challenging, but the end result will be good.
- Find alternatives
Scolding your children when you see a smartphone in their hands is not the best alternative to tackle your child’s smartphone addiction. Children will never accept a straight NO unless you offer some interesting alternative treat.
Whenever you see them with their phones, try to divert their mind by engaging them in some recreational activities like gardening, painting, dancing, or whatever your child likes to do. And , make sure that you show equal enthusiasm and involvement in that activity with your children.
- Break the pattern
Most children follow a pattern in their activities. Observe at what time of the day, your child craves the most for your smartphone. Try to engage your child in any activity at that time.
Like, if they demand a phone as soon as they come back from school, then try diverting their mind at that particular time by asking them to help you in the kitchen or suggest they go play with their friends.
- Normalize the boredom
Let us accept the fact that it is very normal for your child to get bored sometimes. Try to convey the same to your children. Boredom is the beginning of the creative journey. They will never think something out of the box if they don’t have spare time.
As said by Leslie Browning, “ Just keep moving forward one day at a time, the view from the top is worth the climb”. Try setting a day in the week in which no one at the home is allowed to use their phones other than for emergency purposes. And eventually, your child will learn how to live every day without these gadgets.
- Be the change
Do you think your child will accept your usage of phone when you are trying to curb their smartphone addiction?
Limit your screen time first and use that time for interacting as much as you can with your child. Then only they will be encouraged to do the same.
- Take help from the apps
Technology is a bane as well as a boon. Certain apps can assist effectively in curing your child’s nomophobia. Experts recommended Bit Guardian Parental Control effectively helps your child with smartphone addiction. With its time schedule and app time limit feature, you can easily limit the screen time of your child. This app is also very effective in keeping them safe from online predators too which is a cherry on top. Installing and setting up this app is a trouble-free process.
- Make learning fun
Encourage your child in some fun learning process. Make cue cards or treasure hunts regarding their school curriculum. Take ideas from them too. If they have something new to do every day, they will not crave that smartphone anymore.
Make them earn their screen time by giving them tasks every day. Relate it with their school lessons or household works or some out-of-the-box learning. That way, they will be more appreciative of their screen times and also aspire to be more productive.
So, these are some quick-witted ways to limit your child’s screen times. I am not saying that they all will do magic on the first day itself. Of course, it will take time and lots of effort from yours as well as your child’s side. But if you follow all of them properly, they all are very effective in freeing your child from his smartphone addiction. Let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions regarding the same.