The problem of kids addicted to gadgets is one of the most common. When the stage of addiction begins and how to wean a child from a tablet and smartphone is described in this article.
What’s the problem?
The experts shared that various studies have already identified the negative effects of early involvement in digital devices: underdevelopment of social skills, problems with concentration, memory, emotional and communicative sphere.
Sometimes parents say that now is a different time and the children are different. I agree, but the brain also needs to be developed. Why is it dangerous when gadgets are given at a young age: during this period the basic functions of the brain develop – attention, memory, thinking, imagination, speech, the development of motor skills.
Part of the problem is that frames flash too quickly on the gadget or computer screen and prevent the viewer from focusing and comprehending the information.
The kid becomes informatively omnivorous and as early as 6-7 years old, parents worry that it’s difficult for the child to concentrate, to plot, he becomes distracted. Why? Because from an early age he gets used to flickering, his attention is not trained, his thinking does not develop.
What should you do?
Step 1: assess the relationship
The first step is to analyze the relationship with the child: how much time you spend together every day and how you communicate, whether you trust each other, share your experiences, or ask for advice.
If a kid goes to the gadget, then most likely the family has strained relations. He feels lonely, uninteresting, insignificant, and often untenable, and his best friend is an electronic device.
Moreover, in computer games, in communication on social networks, the child, on the contrary, feels sociable, a strong hero. Parents lose credibility. And there comes a situation when the parents called the child to the cinema or to visit, and he says: “I don’t want, I’d better sit on the phone.”
At this stage of “unhealthy” relations with technology, the interlocutor recommends contacting a specialist for help and learning to build communication and relationships in a new way.
Step 2: find an alternative
As a rule, the most popular method among parents is to select a gadget. If you decide to follow it, then the specialist recommends thinking about what to give in return.
You can’t take pleasure from a child without finding an acceptable alternative. Any child has uniqueness, an activity that captivates him, from which his eyes light up. It can be creativity: wood crafts, robotics or swimming, karting, photography or slides from photographs. Can you imagine how the child’s self-esteem will increase?
Step 3: live chat
We recommend making a family rule: come home – turn off the phone. The founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, forbade his children to actively use gadgets; when they get home, they all turn off their cell phones and only use their home phone for communication.
What is scary – letting go of the phone in the evening? And what happens if we see certain messages or scroll through the news feed on social networks not in the evening, but in the morning?
Step 4: set an example
We ourselves have a lot of dependencies. How and what do we fill our leisure with? What are our hobbies? It is important to start with ourselves and think about what example we are showing our children.
Step 5: teach responsibility
When asked how long a child can watch a cartoon or play, the psychologist noted that it is important to consider age. It is safe for children under five to watch cartoons for a total of 5 to 15 minutes a day.
A five-to-six-year-old preschooler will not be hurt for half an hour a day spent in front of a screen or a monitor, while schoolchildren can extend the timeline from an hour to a half.