As technology advances, technology addictions are increasing and they’re affecting children at an alarming rate. Even small children are impacted, children with technology addictions are more to prone to having tantrums when they’re away from their devices, having negative attitudes about being active, and having codependency towards their devices.
Other effects of technology addiction in children include: falling more easily to peer pressure; seeing inappropriate material; getting bullied, poor social skills; aggressive behavior; sleep problems; and difficulty paying attention. While it’s important to catch the warning signs, it’s just as important to prevent a technology addiction in the first place.
Here are some key tips on how to prevent your child’s technology addiction!
1. Don’t replace their boredom with devices
When you give your child an electronic device when they’re bored, sad, or mad, you’re building a reliance to make all their worries go away. As an alternative, focus on getting your child interested in a healthier hobby, such as extracurricular activities at school. Hobbies can positively affect a child by relieving their stress, teaching them how to express themselves, build self-esteem, and strengthening their social skills.
2. Plan more outdoor time
Today’s children are spending less time outdoors than they should because of their devices. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, “children today spend less time outdoors than other generations, devoting only four to seven minutes to unstructured outdoor play per day while spending an average of seven and a half hours in front of electronic media.” This has led to increasing rates in child obesity, and it can cause numerous health problems. Push your children to play more outside. Check out your local playground, kick a ball around your backyard, or plan a fun weekend at an amusement park. Children will enjoy staying active while getting some fresh air.
3. Set guideline for priorities before screen time
Enforce the concept that screen time is a privilege, and not a necessity in your child’s life. Make your child used to the idea that they need to complete their chores, finish their homework, and any other obligations before they hop on their devices. It’ll help your child learn that taking care of their responsibilities comes before the fun.
4. Consider your own time spent on technology
If your child notices that you cling to your technology as well, it will become the standard for them. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 46% of adults believe that they couldn’t live without their smartphones. That’s why it’s important to monitor the time you spend on your own phone and set a good example for your child. Instead of phone time, spend quality time a family.
Technology at Creative Child Learning Center
At Creative Child Learning Center, we urge our children to be more interactive with their peers by limiting the time they spend on the computer and encouraging more outdoor play. We support the importance of cultivating their social skills and being more active at such a developmental period. We provide children with opportunities to start new hobbies by incorporating music, art, and crafts into their curriculum.