Tips: What do you do when your child is addicted to phones?

In today’s society, many parents are struggling with their children being addicted to mobile phones and TV screens.

This addiction is usually so severe that you must always see them with a mobile phone in hand, no matter the venue. You would see such children at restaurants, shopping malls, and churches with their eyes glued to the screen in front of their hands.

The genesis of this practice is parents’ lack of proper parenting skills. Many parents have been found guilty of giving their children mobile phones to play with once they are nervous or show any sign of discomfort.

Children are usually so hyper and maybe a handful to deal with. However, your response to calm them down shouldn’t always be using mobile phones.

The more children spend time on mobile phones, the more addicted and distant they get.

What are the consequences of children being addicted to mobile phones?

There are several consequences of mobile phone addiction. Some of these consequences have long-lasting effects. They include

1. Short attention span

The most common effect of mobile phone addiction is short attention span.

Children who play with mobile phones are exposed to constant pop-ups and ads. Some even use apps that change content every 1-3 minutes.

Thus, children view several things at once in little time, making it impossible to concentrate on one thing at a time.

This, in particular, has a terrible effect on children with symptoms of ADHD as they already suffer from attention deficit.

2. Low patience

Many children addicted to their phones learn to be impatient in real life. This is because, on their phones, they can quickly do whatever they want at any time. Most times, the internet responds quickly and even allows them to skip ads or forward videos they watch.

So when they interact with the real world, they tend to do so with little patience. They want things to go their way quickly and every time.

3. They become Aggressive

Children are known to imitate adults. Often, this means they imitate the mannerisms of their parents. However, nowadays, it includes imitating the characters they watch on TV.

Children who watch aggressive or violent shoes will pick up this aggressive attitude. While they may not intend to be disrespectful, being aggressive towards other people eventually brings disrespect.

On the other hand, Children addicted to their mobile phones may become very aggressive the moment their parents try to forbid them from playing with their mobile phones.

4. Poor Eyesight

It is not unusual for children who spend all their day in front of their phone screens to develop Poor eyesight.

The constant exposure to screen light is unhealthy for human eyesight.

How to make your child use their mobile phone less?

We have highlighted some of the major consequences of mobile phone addiction. To prevent your children from having these effects, we have curated a list of tips on how you can make your child use their mobile phones less. They include:

1. Make a deal with your child on play time

As a parent, you must create a relationship of understanding and respect with your children. This relationship comes in handy in this case.

You should have a discussion with your child where you set rules and agreements as to what time is ‘play time’ and the hours that should be spent on the phone.

Anything agreed on should be done so jointly by both parties. Try to make the discussion friendly and show that you properly understand your child and their needs.

Upon reaching an agreement, always respect it, as this will encourage your child to respect it and play their part.

2. Doing activities together as a family

A great alternative to mobile phone games is playing real-life games.

As a parent seeking to reduce your child’s mobile phone addiction, you should be ready to create appealing alternatives.

We recommend that you provide activities that can be done with your spouse and child. This removes them from their mobile phone screen and helps create family bonding time.

Some activities you can do together include: going to the park, playing games, going to the mall, etc.

You could also go visit friends with your children. Create opportunities for your children to meet other children their age mates and play games with them. This helps build their social and communication skills. 

3. Be a good example to your children

As said earlier, children imitate the actions of their parents. If you do not want your children to be addicted to their phones, you should show them that even you, an adult, are not addicted to your phone.

Once you get home, your phone shouldn’t be the first thing to settle on. Create time to spend with your children. During this family time, ask that your children not touch their phones too.

When they see that you drop your phone to spend time with them, they find it easy to replicate the behaviour.

Parents should not shy away from their parenting duty. Do not avoid confrontations or difficult situations by pushing a mobile phone into your child’s hands. Such action only has adverse consequences.

Instead, you should be understanding and respectful of your children. Sit them down to have discussions and always create time for them.

As a family, if you take family time very seriously, there’s a huge chance you get to limit the time spent on mobile phones and television.

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