Kids today can seamlessly operate gadgets. Some of that we never even knew existed a few years back. Some parents even take pride in this fact. However, honestly, this should be the most shameful element of a parenting journey. Gadgets do more bad than good, especially for kids. How to get rid of mobile addiction for your child?
These little electronic wonder machines have several dangerous consequences on its regular users. And it is quite saddening to say that almost all of our generation and the next generations to come are excessively addicted to these devices.
Some of the reasons why you should be looking for ways on How to Get Rid of Mobile Addiction for Your Child? are as below –
- The radio waves used for mobile phones can cause fatal diseases like brain tumors and cancer.
- Excessive usage of mobile phones makes your kid’s life sedentary from a very early age. This makes your kid an obese and stamina-less adult.
- Your kid may have behavioral problems while socializing.
- Due to less or no interaction with people around, teenagers and even children start developing depression.
- Kids who use the phone constantly may have issues concentrating and hearing.
- Sleep disturbances are another major problem seen in people who use phone unrestrictedly.
How to Distract your Child from Mobile
Having known all the bad consequences of unrestrained usage of mobile, you surely are looking for ways to curb their addiction. So how do you start it? Well, it is easier to implement these distractions for infants and toddlers.
Developing a lifestyle with minimal phone usage is simple rather than distracting a 10-year-old or a teenager who is either addicted to playing games on mobile phones or is addicted to social media usage. Bigger kids have bigger reasons to fight. Moreover, if your child already owns a mobile phone, it becomes even more difficult to go about this mission.
However, it’s true that if as a parent you have decided something good for your kid, you are definitely going to make it happen. So let’s begin with some simple methods to keep your child away from mobiles.
First things first, your kid doesn’t listen to you, he imitates you. So, before changing him, you need to change yourself. Get rid of your love for that small screen first. When its work, explain it to your child that it is work and you cannot avoid it. However, never hide your social media scanning process under your work. Be truthful to your children if you expect them to be the same as you.
You can instead opt to help your kids in studies, talk to them about their school, go out to play with them in a park, cook their favorite dishes or involve everyone at home in a family activity. You have to tell your child that the real fun is outside that small screen.
Engage your Child in Outdoor Activity
If you have a small kid, take him out for a walk, or let him run around freely in the garden. Encourage him to explore his surroundings – grass, plants, buildings, airplanes, birds, flowers, and other kids of similar age. Be with them to ensure their safety but at the same time, let them feel free. If you have bigger kids, encourage them to play with their friends in a park.
This is a sure-shot way to involve your kid in an activity away from mobile phones that they will never stop liking. Moreover, it helps them understand the environment and cultivates their social skills and cognitive abilities. In addition to it, you develop a habit of being physically active in your kids for a certain time, which is important for a healthy body.
Indoor Activities are Equally Important
Children tend to use the phone when they find nothing else more interesting than the colorful animations on your smart-phone. Bring enough creative toys for them to keep them busy. However, this won’t be enough, because your two or three-year-old kid would not know how to play with them and will get bored with these toys easily. Hence, taking out time to play with him is important. Your kid needs your love and attention the most, so get involved!
Additionally, you can enroll him in some indoor activity programs like yoga, some hobby clubs, or workshops that instill leadership skills, compassion, understanding, and emotions in children.
Stop Using Smart Phones as Babysitters
We all know these little electronic devices are amazing babysitters. They come to your rescue when you want to have a hot cup of coffee in peace or want to enjoy your food in a restaurant without running behind a hyperactive toddler. This is okay for once in a while.
However, you need to watch-out if this is happening almost every other day. If so, you are contradicting your own theory of keeping your kid away from a mobile phone. Try to involve your kid in the activity that you need to do peacefully at home. Of course, he will do more bad than good initially, but eventually, he will learn how to help you. You can also give him something new to play with while you have your hot coffee – like a bundle of old newspapers.
For behaving in a restaurant, order a dish that your kid loves eating himself. You can also take a small noise-less toy to the restaurant to keep your kid busy.
You go into the kitchen for a minute and your kid leaves all his toys, grabs your phone and starts playing his favorite video in no time. There starts a torturous activity of getting your phone back and then handling the teary meltdown.
Isn’t it better to password protect your cell phone and avoid the whole scenario? Of course, your child will need time to understand that he cannot simply take away your phone and have fun. But once that stage is over, he won’t grab your phone in your absence and starts using it.
This trick works only when you have command over your child. When he understands that he cannot do anything without your permission. This doesn’t work with babies or bigger children. You might have to face a struggle in such cases before this trick can help you.
Make Family Rules
Make a rulebook for your family for limiting the usage of electronic devices. Make sure everyone abides by these rules. It should have points something like this –
- No one should use mobile phones during family activities, breakfast, and dinner.
- No one should use any gadget at least half an hour before going to bed.
- Not more than half an hour of screen time should be allowed for kids below five years of age.
- No lone time with electronic gadgets should be allowed for kids below twelve years of age.
- Everyone should finish their work (like kids should finish reading and homework, dad and mom should finish office work and household chores) before sitting down with that little monster.
As parents, you understand your kids and family better. Hence, you can modify the above rules as per the needs of your family. However, everyone should strictly follow the rules; else, there should be a punishment for everyone. It can be something like deducting half an hour of usage time from the next day.
Warn Before you Act
It has been an hour since your eight years old has been playing his favorite game on your mobile phone. It is time for him to leave the phone. Naturally, your child will be reluctant in leaving the phone. You come and take away the phone. And then, starts the rebellious confrontation.
In order to avoid this scenario followed by a meltdown of you as well as your kid, it is better to warn him at least 10-15 minutes before his allotted time is about to end. Give him a warning every 5 minutes, so that he has enough time for completing his current stage in his game. With time, your kid will realize the importance of rules.
Talk to your Kid
Teenagers and adolescent children incline more towards cell phones because they stop getting attention from home. They suddenly feel tons of emotions due to the newly formed hormones in their bodies. While we, as parents, start believing that they are grown-ups and need lesser attention now.
This is when they start relying more on their mobile phones. They treat it as a device that can entertain them, connect them to their friends, help them relieve their stress, and help them share their emotions and stories. If you talk to your children, irrespective of their age, and give them the required attention, they might not feel the need to depend on a gadget for venting out their emotions.
It is important for you, as parents, not to let your children get addicted to mobile phones. However, it is quite difficult in this digital age when these devices find usage even in the education systems. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities that can assist you with ways how to distract your child from mobile. All you need is to be with your child as a pillar of support.