Mobile phones have become part of the modern world. It is almost impossible to meet someone who willingly does not have a mobile phone.
It is undeniable that the use of mobile phones has several advantages, the most notable being the ease of communication. Also, it gives children access to many fun games, videos, and social media.
Hence, it is a little wonder that children having a mobile phone has become normal. However, one cannot deny the constant rise of mobile phones among children and adolescents.
To battle addiction, you have to start from the beginning. For us, the beginning is to understand the reason for this addiction.
The first and most common reason is poor parenting. Many parents do not have time to raise their children properly. This leads to affected children turning to mobile phones for companionship and fun. A child who never has family time at home or spends time with their parents will channel their energy and attention to playing online games with friends or keeping social media friends for companionship.
Also, due to poor parenting, some parents encourage their children to spend a lot of time on their phones so they can focus on work or have some ‘peace and quiet.’
Other reasons include peer pressure, the need for social media friends, the love for online games, etc.
Mobile phone addiction, like any other addiction, comes with certain consequences. That is why parents are regularly advised not to treat it lightly. Some of the negative consequences of children being addicted to phones are:
1. Psychological effect
Mobile phone addiction often breeds short-tempered and stubborn children. It is not hard to see why a child, dependent on mobile phones being their fun, will react badly when told to drop the phone. Children addicted to playing mobile games are so short-tempered that any loss could lead to a breakdown.
It is also said that constant use of mobile phones and social media heavily contributes to children developing ADHD. This is because they are often exposed to thousands of contents at the same time and may not be able to focus on one thing at a time. This could also lead to them developing anxiety, social anxiety, and distancing.
One of the popular negative effects of mobile phone addiction is that it eventually leads to bad eyesight. If you have a child constantly exposed to a mobile screen, there is a huge chance of developing eyesight problems such as myopia. Other things include a lack of proper development due to the absence of socialization, constant headaches, eye issues, insomnia, etc.
As a parent, once you notice that your child is addicted to their mobile phone, you need to take steps to address such addiction. However, as they say, ‘Prevention is better than cure. You should take these steps to prevent mobile phone addiction from the get-go.
- Set a time frame for the use of the phone. You should limit the time your child spends on the phone. A popular method is to set a time in the evening, which indicates that they drop their phones to resume tomorrow.
- Engage in other activities with your child. This helps remove the focus on their phone and helps their social development.
- Create time for your child. You need to do actual parenting and not just leave your child to themself. Create time for them and do little things together like cook, watch a movie, play a game, etc.
- As a parent, reduce the time spent on your mobile phone. Children imitate what they see. Hence, to get them to stop, you need to stop too.
- If you can, only let your child have a personal phone once they are mature for one. Do not bow to the pressure of everyone giving their child a phone. Children are different. Before giving your child a personal phone, you must be sure they are mature enough by your standards.
Parents are often responsible for how their children turn out. That is why good parenting is never overrated. In order to help with your child being addicted to a mobile phone, the first step is to engage in proper parenting. Understand the root cause of the dependence on phones and address it as a parent.