We have to be aware by the fact that the child sees all these gadgets to his parents first and only after he wants to use them too. He discovers that gadgets brings lots of continuous entertainment, and that it does not take much effort so, he loses interest in other forms of spending time.
According to recent research, almost 70% percent of the parents go through kids’ tantrums when they take their device away. Many parents literally face the kid screaming and kicking when they drag them away from their device. This makes children more agitated and frustrated.
Parents are often concerned that addictive technology is isolating their kids who prefer to stay within their tech cocoons rather than spending time with the family.
Living in the lap of technology doesn’t mean kids have to live with tech addiction, however.
This unilateral stimulation may lead to insufficient or even atrophic development of certain motor, cognitive or social skills.
As the addiction starts in the family, it should also be stopped, or even better, prevent, also through the family help.
How can we prevent our children addiction in 15 easy steps?
1. Talk to your child about excessive use of the computer.
Find out if there are any specific reasons for which he needs to use the computer so often.
2. Be a role model for your child!
Don’t forget that your child looks up to you for even the smallest things in life. For many parents, the easiest way to handle a restless child is by giving him a tech device so they themselves can relax. This is not the best approach. You yourself must reduce tech usage so that your child will be motivated to follow you.
Leave your mobile phone, tablet and laptop aside for several hours every day. Engage with your child in various forms of entertainment or try to share his or your hobbies.
3. Change the routine
Challenge your child to engage in exciting activities to forget about the gadgets for a while.
- Go to the park
- Gather all the whole family and go out for a bike or roller skate adventure
- Start a new sport together, either outdoor or indoor
Make a new definition for what free time means! It should be synonymous with family moments, fun time, adventure and nature, not with the lonely hours in front of a screen.
4. Keep gadgets in a less accessible place
Keep your mobile phones and other gadgets in a place a bit more complicated to be accessed by the child and, in the same time, more accessible for you to control their usage.
5. Set a complex password for the gadgets
The child will need to ask for the password to access the computer, so you will have the control over the process. This is not recommended if you have older children that need a computer to study or for other reasons.
6. Check the history every time
This way you will have the opportunity to know what your child’s areas of interest are and also if those websites are safe for a child.
7. Don’t make a habit from using the gadgets learning
It's obvious that it's easier to let kids learn by watching videos on your phone / tablet, but that's also how you slowly contribute to your child's gadgets dependency. Most children tend to find it difficult to read and write because they are exposed to video-learning from an early age.
8. Send your child to camps or trips
Summer camps are great for children. They can learn so many interesting things there, from the surviving in the nature to art, math or sailing. Same with the thematic trips.
Keep in mind what he likes and organize yourself such trips or find a club for kids his age which can offer an interesting program. When you send the kid to camps or trips, make sure the gadgets remain home, of course.
9. Dedicated evening for family games
Once or twice a week, mommy, daddy and the kids can play together for a whole evening. Make some popcorn, buy some ice-cream or something you all like and just play together. Either it’s logical games, mystery ones, or just the funny pillow fight.
10. Encourage outdoor activities
Outdoor activities help children learn to play with other children, improving their social skills and growing their independence. Playing real games and participating in real situation improves also the problem-solving attitude, patience, empathy and consequence to achieve a goal, either it’s a small one. At the same time, playing outside also helps them build their motor skills. Improvising a playground in your backyard or organizing bike trips through the neighborhood sounds like attractive options to replace the gadget.
11. Play together role-playing games
Children enjoy role-playing games, and this is the best way to involve kids in fun learning.
12. Create interesting interactive activities or games
Children get bored very quickly and tend to go to gadgets because there is entertainment all the time. The toys you buy lose their charm in a few days, unlike the game on the mobile phone that has something challenging on every new level.
The idea is not to buy a lot of other new toys, but to find an exciting and challenging activity to be delivered to it every month.
13. Make more time to really communicate with your child
Communicating with our children helps them find solutions to their problems. When kids do not find the right solutions, they can use the gadgets to solve the problem or avoid it. This does not solve their problems, but only increases their stress, as it does to us too.
14. Set a time limit for gadgets
Time limits on the use of gadgets and other electronic devices should be restricted. Suppose you have a child that is just 18 months, then you should not introduce gadgets to their world because the rays of the gadget's LCD will have an impact on the health of his/her eyes. But if they are 2-5 years old, apply only 1 hour in a day to play with his/her gadget.
To avoid your child's crises, it's important to impose some rules. The limit for the time spent using gadgets can be set by mutual agreement or individually by parents. The best option is to be mutually agreed.
Another very important thing is to let your child choose the moments to play. For example: "You can play your computer one hour a day. You choose if you want to play the whole time now or later. "
15. Engage him in the housework specific to his age
One of the reasons why they spend so much time on the computer is the sense of non-belonging.
Here are some activities through which you can involve the child in the family domestic tasks: wet the flowers, take the garbage, wash his dish
How to Tell if My Child is Addicted to Gadgets?
Playing games on smart devices isn’t always a bad thing, many games aim to help develop the cognitive side of a child’s brain.
Here are some signs that your child’s screen time has become excessive:
- Constant use of gadgets;
- Mood swings and argumentative attitude when you question them about using gadgets;
- Lack of interest in other activities;
- Lying or adoption of devious behavior to use their gadgets;
- Display of withdrawal behavior like throwing tantrums, mood swings and denial