Is your child hooked to the mobile phone for the greatest part of the day? Does he throw tantrums if you don’t hand him the mobile phone? If YES, this article is for you!
An addiction is the persistent compulsive use of a substance. Before, it was the terrain of drugs, alcohol, and smoking. However, today mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets have also become addictive.
THANKS TO THE ERA OF TECHNOLOGY!
As per New York Times report, both teens and adults check their mobile phones at least 150 times a day which surmounts to every six minutes. A research study further reveals:
- 92 percent of the teens go online daily and 24 percent are online “almost constantly”.
- 71 percent of the teens use Facebook, 52 percent use Instagram, 41 percent use Snapchat, and 33 percent use Twitter.
- 77 percent of the parents complain about distraction in their teen kids where they don’t pay attention towards the family due to these devices.
- 59 percent of the parents complain of the phone addiction in their teens.
Now, you wonder why I tell you these research results. You already know of the rising phone addiction among the teenagers. So, when I said this article is for you, was it false? Was it a lie? Will I not give a solution for phone addiction in children?
Yes, I will! But, before we talk about the solution to this phone addiction, it’s important to understand its cause.
Did you ever think why so many teenagers become phone addicts? Who is to blame? The teenagers or the technology? Actually, it’s none! If you want to point someone, point yourself. Confused? Allow me to explain.
Today, parents have a big hand in making their children phone addicts. You may not agree with it, but certain behaviours of parents propel the child towards excessive use of mobile phones, and gradually he becomes an addict.
Let’s discuss them one at a time:
1. Using mobile phones in excess
How do you react when your child is busy with the mobile phone?
“Jab dekho phone se chipke rehte ho. Kabhi padhai bhi kar lia karo itne interest se!”
But, before you blame your child, introspect yourself. Look at how many hours you spend on your mobile phone.
- According to Cross-Platform Future in Focus report, an adult spends about 4 hours a day on his mobile phone.
- Three in ten Indians use mobile phones while driving (Reference: livemint.com)
- 69% parents check their mobile phones every hour. (Reference: www.cnn.com)
Don’t these statistics show phone addiction in adults?
2. Handing over the phone to the child to control his tantrums
When you hand over your mobile phone to your child, did you ever realize its impact in the long run?
I am sure, you didn’t. Frustrated and tired of your child’s tantrums, you hand over your mobile phone to him. You think this will calm him down and you can relax. Not only to calm the child, parents use mobile phones in front of a toddler to make him listen to the music, show attractive pictures or as a toy.
However, this is the first step to build phone addiction in your child. Once he becomes accustomed to the use of mobile phones, it captivates his mind and he asks for more.
3. Not spending quality time with children
Parents have to be present physically and emotionally for their kids. However, when they are not able to do so, children look towards other forms of engagement. In such a scenario, mobile phones become a source of entertainment for your kids and their true companion.
Click here: How to spend quality time with your kids?
4. Buying mobile phones for children at an early age
The moment your child says, “Mom/Dad, I want a phone this year. All my friends have it”, you get tempted to buy him a smartphone because it will also be convenient for you. You can call or text him to know where he is, inform him about your plans, and reach out to him in case of an emergency.
Given the benefits of a mobile phone, it seems an absolute necessity for your child. But, do you buy the phone for your child at an appropriate age? At what age should you buy a mobile phone for him?
Numerical age isn’t important, but the maturity level of your kid is. When you buy a cell phone for your kid, you hand him a powerful communication tool. He can use it to text, send images and videos, and do a lot more. Thus, it’s necessary to consider whether your child is ready to use the phone carefully and with responsibility.
If you indulge in the above habits, you send a message to the child, “Mobile phones are far better than the real world.” In simple terms, you are raising a child who will become a phone addict in life.
So, just ponder over the points I have written and you may realise how true they are. Unknowingly, you are making your child a phone addict.
And hey….if you are guilty, then don’t be! You can still do a lot to change your habits and prevent your child from becoming a phone addict. To know how, see my next post.
Till then, if you are motivated by this post, share and motivate other parents to nip these habits in the bud.