Parenting in an Age of Screen Addiction
In today’s world, our children can access anything they want at any time with the help of a smartphone. They can communicate, research, play games, or shop whenever they want. Despite the countless benefits, there’s a huge number of parents managing children who’ve developed screen addiction.
If you’ve got a kid who’d rather spend all of their time playing a video game, scrolling through social media, or staring at a screen, there’s a huge number of people like you. As revealed by a Parents online survey, children spend around 1,314 hours, or 55 days, on screens every year.
Parenting in today’s age of screen addiction has become quite a difficult task. If you’ve ever given a try to get a child to put down the video game controller, smartphone, or tablet, you surely know how difficult it can be. However, it isn’t possible for you to give in. Screen addiction is widespread and real. It’s your responsibility to take some steps to deal with it.
There’re Ample Negative Consequences
As if concerns about cyberbullying and online stranger danger weren’t enough for parents, now we’ve to worry about the adverse consequences of only spending excessive time online. For example, it has always been known to parents that their children could unexpectedly find unsuitable content online. But, what can a parent do when they simply cannot get their child to put down the device and go outside?
Sadly, screen addiction comes with even more consequences. As stated by Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, the author of “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids,” he has worked with hundreds of crystal meth addicts and heroin addicts, but he finds it more difficult to treat a true screen addict than a heroin addict.
Additionally, children who’ve developed screen addiction struggle with obesity and healthy social interactions. These children use their imagination less, are sleepless, and read less. However, this may even be true for children who haven’t developed the addiction.
Is It a Detrimental Habit or an Addiction?
A parent will need to find out if their kid has only detrimental habits or screen addiction. For the majority of parents, it’s initially a problem of detrimental habits. For example, if your kid is spending over six hours each day staring at a screen, it’s detrimental behavior. Nevertheless, it becomes an addiction if your kid continues even after experiencing negative consequences. Moreover, true addiction will also result in withdrawal symptoms.
Parenting in Today’s Digital Era
First and foremost, you’ve to monitor your screen habits to influence those of your kid positively. If you don’t put down the smartphone yourself, you cannot tell your kid to do so. Moreover, parents need to stay involved in the screen usage of their family and alert. They need to establish clear boundaries and ensure every family member adheres to the guidelines. The Media Time Calculator and Family Media Plan may help parents.
Then, you should have a candid conversation with your children about why it’s important to have screen time limits. Let your children understand the outcomes of screen addiction. If you want to show them practical examples, viewing the Web Junkie documentary may be a good idea.
Lastly, if it seems that your kid has developed screen addiction, treatment programs such as Unplugged are available. Unplugged refers to an electronics addiction treatment program. I suggest you speak with the counselor or doctor of your child if you’re truly concerned about whether it’s an addiction or habit.