Five effective solutions to fix smartphone addiction in children
- by Beena Singh
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With the increased usage of smartphones, there has also been a sharp increase in smartphone addiction in children. Growing up in the technology age, rightly called the digital era, children are being exposed to excess electronic gadgets. There are many reasons why smartphone addiction in children is on the rise. The busy lives of the parents can be considered to be a major contributor. Given their tight schedule, parents often end up giving smartphones to their children so that they are caught up in it, allowing them little time at hand. Another factor that can be considered is the easy availability of entertainment within the smartphone that creates addiction in children. During the pandemic, especially, when children cannot meet their friends physically or play in outdoor areas, they have resorted to using smartphones for their entertainment.
The effects of smartphone addiction in children are concerning. Various studies and research on the internet claim the adversities that take place due to smartphone addiction in children. Some of the most common effects noticed in children are listed below.
Slow learning process: Smartphone addiction in children leads to some disturbed brain activity which tends to slow the learning process in them. With the frequent harmful mobile phone radiation, there is an adverse impact on the child’s health in the long run.
Sleeping patterns: Another major effect of smartphone addiction in children is associated with their uneven sleep patterns. This happens all the more if there is no screen time restriction. Consequently, a disturbed sleeping pattern may unfavourably impact the overall behaviour of the little ones.
Obesity & Weak eye-sight: The easy entertainment available over the internet facilitates children to be glued to their smartphones with little to no movements. This leads to childhood obesity. Furthermore, smartphone addiction in children results in weak eyesight which can attract other health issues like sinus and migraine.
Short attention span: One of the most common problems that arise due to smartphone addiction in children is their decreasing attention span. With the internet producing content which lasts for a very little duration, skip and fast forward options, children have now started losing interest in pieces of information that tend to have a longer duration which facilitates to lessen their attention span.
Slow social development: This is one of the lesser talked-about negative effects of smartphones in children. They tend to stick to their mobiles and avoid or simply refuse to communicate or virtually meet with friends and family members. This tends to slow down their social growth due to limited social exposure.
Fixing smartphone addiction in children
The rising adverse effects of smartphones on children call for solutions that would tackle these problems. Here are some tips for parents that would aid them in fixing smartphone addiction in children.
Passwords and limited screen time: It is highly recommended for parents to enable passwords on their smartphones so that their children are forced to not waste their time on digital devices. However, if enabling passwords seems to be difficult, the alternative recommendation is to limit the screen time and/or enable downtime on specific applications. This is considered to be one of the most sought-after tools for fixing smartphone addiction in children.
Constant communication: Busy schedule of parents often leaves a lesser amount of time for them to communicate with their children which keeps the latter hooked to smartphones. One of the smartest ways for parents to get rid of smartphone addiction in children is to establish smooth communication – ask them about their day, what they learn, their area of interests and dislikes, what fascinates them the most, and their thoughts and similar.
Actively pick content and monitor: With the plethora of content available over the internet, it is advisable for parents to look after what their children are watching. Moreover, picking up the content for children and closely monitoring them makes it easier for parents to keep track of the content that their children get exposed to.
Fun activities: Another way of fixing smartphone addiction in children is by including as many activities as possible at home. This will keep the smartphone addiction at bay and improve the communication flow and strengthen the parent-child relationship.
Not using smartphones as a parenting tool: As a parent, resist using smartphones as a parenting tool. Handing over the smartphone to children when they cry or make a fuss about any situation will only increase smartphone addiction in children. Therefore, it is advisable to keep smartphones away from children as much as possible.
Lead by example: Be a role model. It is rightly said that children adapt to what children see. Advising children to limit their smartphones while you continue to use digital devices throughout would do little for fixing smartphone addiction in children. Therefore, smartly use your digital devices, lessen mindless scrolling or limit using smartphones when you spend time with your children.
Though smartphone addiction in children is increasing, following the above steps may lend a helping hand to you in fixing smartphone addiction in children. With smart tactics and little patience, you can be very close to achieving a device-free zone in your home that paves a way for healthy growth for your children.