As the name suggests, smartphones are supposed to make our lives smarter. However, the downfall is that overuse of anything can be addictive. With the kind of updates, applications, games, and entertainment options that are easily accessible on your phone, getting addicted is very easy even for adults, leave aside the kids. Smartphone addiction in children is considered to be a growing concern across the globe in recent years, especially during the pandemic when most of the kids were stranded indoors without an outlet to release their active energy. There are many kindergarten schools that know the drawbacks of smartphone addiction and take corrective measures to minimize overuse. Studies show that excessive addiction to smartphones could lead to serious problems among children that could affect aspects related to social engagement, concentration, learning capabilities, and overall behaviour.
Keep the smartphone away from your kids until they are 18 months old
Parents and caregivers must ideally not introduce smartphones or any such devices to kids until they are 18 months old. Once little babies get hooked to such gadgets from an early age, there are high chances that they will want to cling to them for a longer duration. They might even start throwing tantrums, making them even more stubborn. Over a period of time, this might lead to heavy mobile phone addiction in children. The best way to avoid such a situation is to not introduce such gadgets to kids at such a young age. Exercise moderation, in terms of the kind of media that you want to show your child or allow phone usage only for video calls.
Keep your child engaged in fun games and activities
In this day and age, the bond between parents and their children is fading away due to hectic lifestyles. The easy way out is engaging your children in some fun video games or media content. But heavy usage of smartphones will only worsen the condition as children will slowly start growing apart from their parents. Building a strong relationship with your children from an early age is very important for their social and emotional wellbeing. Kindergarten schools design a curriculum with a variety of fun-filled activities to develop social, emotional, linguistic, and numerical skills. Engaging children in the same activities after school hours could help prevent smartphone addiction in children.
Switch off your mobile internet/Wi-Fi
With continual usage, children quickly learn and grasp the various functionalities of the phone. However, there are certain options that they might not be aware of. One such option is the internet or Wi-Fi. You can smartly switch off the internet or Wi-Fi connection and tell your children some other excuse as to why the phone is acting up. This technique might help you give them a logical explanation to stop using the mobile phone.
Prepare a schedule for using mobile phones or watching TV
Setting aside a timetable for using the phone or watching TV can be beneficial to make your children follow a disciplined routine. You can also use Smartphone-time as a reward for finishing some good work of learning activity. However, you must be careful while doing so as your child might not concentrate on the activity, instead, they will hastily do it just to win the reward.
Show them the way
Children follow in the footsteps of their parents. The longer time you spend on mobile phones, the higher are the chances that they might also pick the same habit from you. Lead from the front and show them the way, avoid using the phone too often when you are around them. You can also set aside time to watch some good content on the phone with your child and teach them some new concepts that will be handy for them when they grow up. Children are also very understanding when you explain to them the rationale behind anything in a gentle way. You can tell your children that watching too much TV or Phone can affect their eyesight, or lead to body pain. Children will eventually understand why their parents are asking them to avoid using smartphones so frequently.
All in all, it is important for parents to realize that Smartphones are here to add convenience to our lives. Although one cannot imagine a life without smartphones, it is crucial to maintain the right balance between abstinence and over-usage so that children don’t get addicted to smartphones in the long run.