When we plan our monthly budget, we usually consider our basic costs (taxes, food, clothes, reserve fund) and our income. But some of that money is wasted (for the greater good) on the happiness of our children.
The Decision to Allow our Kids to use a Smartphone
Buying a smartphone for our kids is not something we usually plan in our budget or our parental life.
We make this decision according to other people that have nothing to do with our family’s thinking and budget.
When your kid constantly repeats that other kids carry a smartphone with them, we immediately get them the newest model. Is this a reasonable reaction, or do we just listen to our children and do whatever they say?
Effects that Smartphones have on our Kids
We rarely even consider the negative impact that smartphone usage has on our kids. Firstly, children carry phones to show off and belong in the group and use it for phone calls and messages.
And after just a few days, we see our children sleeping with the smartphone tight in their hands.
What is Smartphone Addiction?
Spending lots of hours on a smartphone, not being able to leave it aside, and using it all day long and late at night defines what a smartphone addiction is.
Studies show that roughly 23% of children are constantly and their phones and have developed a type of addiction.
This situation develops strange and antisocial behavior causing negative effects on the quality of your children’s life.
Teaching our Kids how to use Smartphones
When we teach our kids how to use their smartphones, we should first educate ourselves on how not to gain a smartphone addiction.
From my point of view, it is hard to convince someone else about something when you can’t even convince yourself.
Understanding the Problem
However, we must explain to our kids that over-time smartphone usage is an addiction that causes problems. It can be simple at the start and transfer into serious complications for their health.
Signs of Smartphone Addiction in Kids
Besides the enormous need for smartphones nowadays, we parents must act when we recognize some worrying symptoms our kid has developed, such as:
- Strange behavior;
- Tantrums when we take their phone;
- Panic when their battery dies;
- Lack of focus;
- Low hygiene manners;
- Not getting enough sleep;
- Locking themselves in their rooms;
Smartphone addiction can happen at any age, so don’t overlook the signs that your child can’t live without their phone.
Causes of Smartphone Addiction Among Kids
We, parents, can blame ourselves, our work, other people, the digital world, and much more for causing addiction.
We’ll quickly go over the main causes of smartphone addiction among the younger generations.
The Internet is available everywhere. Our kids have easy access to WiFi, and the possibility of always being online increases their chances to develop an addiction.
Whatever we parents do, we do it with our smartphones (learning, working, cooking, and even sleeping). We are their role model. How can we expect our kids’ manners to be opposite from ours?
Smartphones are a Must for Education
Kids use their smartphones for studying and online classes, but it can easily transfer into a harmful addiction.
“Socializing” with Friends
By using smartphones children, especially teenagers, develop social skills and make friends easily. Statistics tell us that about 62% of children have two or more social media accounts.
With texting, sharing pictures, and posting content, they get publicly recognized and addict themselves to the attention.
Your children’s brain reduces hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, and they feel happy while using their smartphones.
It happens to me too, while I’m playing my favorite game on my smartphone, or watching my fave show.
How Smartphone Addiction Affects our Kids’ Life
Living in their happy digital world, our kids don’t see what problems they have brought upon themselves.
Sometimes, even parents aren’t aware. So let’s quickly look at all the negative effects of phone addictions.
Screen radiation (especially at night time) and spending an enormous time on smartphones damage vision.
Mental Health Problems
Children may lock themselves in their rooms, might not even get up from their bed, might cry and laugh at the same time, may get nervous when they are asked to do something else, and may not be in the mood for activities.
Worsened Ability to Think Logically
Our kids don’t think, they just act like robots with phones in their hands. Children that only think about their phones don’t have a vision for their future, development, profession, or life. Phone-addicted kids only live in the presence of smartphones.
Decreased Real-World Socializing
Kids nowadays are incapable (or less capable) of socializing in the real world. They suffer from a lack of esteem and think smartphones can protect them.
How to Overcome a Phone Addiction
Pointing ourselves as an example is always a reasonable method to advise our kids. So, let’s look at creative ways to drag your children away from their phones and create healthy habits.
Get Your Kid a Pet
Children will develop feelings and skills by taking care of someone else besides phones. Pets get attached to kids and demand to spend more time with them. Let’s just hope that the phones don’t get jealous!
Explore the Outsides
Fresh air is beneficial for everyone. It is good for family members to drive bicycles together, play in the park, visit the Zoo, plant flowers, etc.
Read Bedtime Stories
Reading bedtime stories will provide us with time to spend together and develop family values, skills, and learning abilities.
After-School Kids Activities
Sports, arts, music, and many more after-school activities are great for your children to leave their phones alone and enjoy their favorite hobbies.
Knowing the benefits of kids’ smartphone usage on one side and the risks of addiction on another side, we parents must be awake and strategy-oriented.
Don’t use strict rules. Be patient, careful, and polite when approaching your child about phone addictions.
When you see your young toddler laying comfortably and watching videos on your smartphone, don’t be proud because you will pay the price later. Therefore, early prevention and constant communication are true cures.