Smartphones have now become an indispensable part of everyday lives, be it for kids or adults. Sure, the smartphone helps in more ways than one, especially in times of the pandemic.
Everything from education, to learning skills and even meeting friends, is now being done through smartphones. However, excess use of it can develop a gadget addiction in children.
In this article, we will explore smartphone addiction in kids. We will be answering important questions on gadget addiction; its signs and helping children come out of it. The article also consists of some alternatives to smartphones to keep children engaged.
The term gadget addiction simply refers to the situation when a person is not able to function properly in the absence of their gadgets. Gadget addiction generally stems from the increasing use of gadgets, sometimes even to the level that their general sustenance seems to depend on the gadgets around them.
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The smartphone is one such gadget that people run the risk of getting addicted to. It is the one gadget that has proved to be the most addictive, especially for teenagers and young adults. However, now, children too are rapidly falling prey to smartphone addiction, also known as nomophobia.
We understand that smartphones are now being used by kids more than ever due to the pandemic. This makes it difficult for the parents to analyze if their child is getting addicted to their smartphones. Here are some common signs that can help you identify smartphone addiction in your child -
We are all aware that incessant screen usage can harm children in many ways. Being addicted to phone screens makes it worse. Here are some ways that we can help children successfully come out of smartphone addiction.
Be their Role Model: It is a normal characteristic of children to imitate their parents’ behavior. Hence, it becomes very important that you limit your own smartphone usage, and they are very likely to follow suit.
Use Monitoring Apps: There are several apps available on both iPhone and Android to monitor your child’s phone usage. These apps also give you a view of the apps that they use, and the time period of that usage.
Set Common Rules: Set some ground rules in the family regarding smartphone usage. For example, you can plan out an hour or two to completely restrict its usage in the house, or incorporate some no-phones-allowed family time.
Preventing smartphone addiction might seem a huge deal, but if you follow the above precautions, you can curb smartphone addiction even before it starts to stem in your child.
As bizarre as it sounds, keeping children occupied without smartphones can be a tough nut to crack. So here are some alternatives that you could introduce to your child that they can stick to in place of their smartphones.
GPS Smart Watches help parents stay updated with the whereabouts of their child. It also helps them keep track of the fitness level of their child, like tracking footsteps. There are also calling and messaging facilities available on the GPS Smart Watch.
Screenless cell phones have been growing increasingly popular for quite some time now. It provides much-needed relief to parents as they can now do away with a little less screen time for their kids.
Kindle, a product developed by the e-commerce giant Amazon, has been in the market for the past few years. The Kindle device has been designed to make it easier to read e-books by providing a screen larger than that of smartphones while not emitting any harmful blue light.
Music is a favorite among everybody, be it children, teenagers or adults. An MP3 Player can thus be a fun device to keep your kids hooked to some good music. Also, MP3 Players are screenless, saving your children from some screen time.
Art and Craft can be a great way to while away time. You can help your child explore their artistic interests. You can also join forces with them as a little bonding time to make some decorative craft pieces to display at home.
Board games can be another fun way to keep your child entertained, while also making way for some family time. Nowadays there are many board games available that can even help children with specific areas of study, all through games and fun.
Baking is a rather harmless cooking exercise for kids as it involves food that they love to devour. Together with them, you can make their favorite cupcakes and even come up with interesting new recipes, thus fueling their creativity.
Kids usually seek to master one musical instrument or the other at some point in time. So enroll them in a class of their choice. This helps them explore their hobbies, while also helping them master a really helpful skill.
Books are the best company that one can have. Introducing children to the healthy habit of reading books can help them to improve their vocabulary and sharpen their knowledge. Books can also help to polish the imagination and creativity of your child.
Although we can provide children with many alternatives to smartphones, we have to acknowledge the fact that smartphones are an important part of their lives. So, rather than trying to do away with such a useful gadget, we have to educate kids on the right use of smartphones. It is also important to let children have phones only once they are mature enough to own one.
What do you think is the right age for children to have their own phones?