It’s natural for us humans to get addicted to something, be it material things, alcohol, illegal substances, and even people.
But is it possible to control our addiction? The answer is yes. However, it takes a lot of effort, time, devotion, and sacrifice.
If your kids are addicted to internet usage, there’s still a way to reverse that addiction.
What is Internet Addiction in Kids?
Tech addiction in kids refers to their need to use tech devices, play video games, scroll on social media, and chat all the time.
Often, children use tech over time without purpose and do not agree when we tell them to turn off the device. Parents must be alarmed by the situation and recognize signs of their kids being tech-addicted before it’s too late.
Warning Signs of Internet Addiction in Children
When we see our kids’ behavioral changes, it alarms us to react the same way the morning alarm wakes us up in the morning.
While we struggle to get the answers to why our child has strange behavior, all the kids’ addiction signs come out one by one.
So, it’s important to fish out these signs and know when your child has a tech addiction.
Obsession With the Internet
When kids don’t go out to play with friends, don’t socialize with family, skip homework and other activities, and pay attention only to tech, we can say they are obsessed with the internet.
No matter where they are, they need WiFi or mobile data to be connected and “be alive.” If they can’t connect to the internet, they are furious and nervous and quarrel with us. Imagine what happens when the power runs out!
Spending Excessive Amounts of Time Online
Kids addicted to tech devices lose track of time. They live in their virtual world 24/7, isolated in rooms and obsessed with tech activities, and don’t even sleep (they almost act like living zombies). They only value the time spent in front of screens.
Preoccupation with Being Online
Studies show that nearly half of all teens are preoccupied with tech! They use social media to chat, even in school.
Teachers often complain about their behavior. But for our children, it’s like a passion to be online most of the time.
Neglecting Friendships and Family Relationships
Tech-addicted kids don’t care about family and friends. In their mind, family members are just roommates they share the house with.
Also, their friends only exist in the virtual world. Friendship is a term they don’t value and practice.
Refusal to Participate in Activities Outside of the Home
Kids that suffer from tech addiction can’t leave their rooms where they live in their isolated world.
Going outside is like a nightmare for them. When we push them to go out, they are nervous and annoyed and demand to use their smartphone.
The Decline in Academic Performance
They lose interest in learning and planning their future. Because of the lack of concentration and focus they lose their academic performance and worsen their grades.
Neglect of Personal Hygiene and Health
Tech-addicted children refuse to bathe and keep hygiene. They eat snacks in front of screens, risk their health, don’t clean their mess, and throw garbage everywhere in the room.
Irritability, Agitation, or Anxiety When not Online
We can see mental changes in our kids’ behavior if they’re tech addicted.
They are nervous and anxious when we take their smartphone, often won’t even talk with us, and will act disoriented and confused.
Depression or Mood Swings
Addicted children are isolated, don’t have the energy for simple actions, are afraid to leave the room, demonstrate bipolar behavior, and suffer from depression.
Withdrawal from Social Activities
Tech-addicted kids don’t value the community they belong to and don’t care about socializing and communicating outdoors.
Negative Impact on Daily Life
Spending much time on the screen harms kids’ daily life. They are not capable to leave the room, go to school, walk, eat, or take a bath. They don’t even have the energy to brush their teeth.
Emotional swings are a specific sign of a tech-addicted kid.
Bipolar behavior, no social interest, fears, panic attacks, and frustration are common emotional symptoms that can be caused by tech addiction.
How to Help Children that are Addicted to the Internet
Because of the various problems that tech addiction causes in our kids, we must find a way to reduce and limit screen time.
We must use our time and devotion in our kids’ treatment. Open communication with our kids can help reduce screen time.
When kids feel our love and support, they cooperate with us. Don’t be judgemental parents, show understanding and interest to gain your kids’ trust.
Implementing family rules can encourage your kid to limit screen time. Involving kids in creating and planning daily activities helps children limit screen usage. No more using the net 24/7.
Monitoring Online Activities
Control your kids to see apps and websites that they’re using and the time they spend on tech every day.
Install parental control apps on their devices as well. Be aware that your kid will not give up on tech usage devices easily, so be patient and persistent.
Promote Nature, Family, and Friendship
Going out with your kids and friends develops their social, communicative, and behavioral skills and limits screen time.
Plan outdoor activities as a habit.
Getting a pet can also help your kids to motivate them to spend time out. Support after-school activities, sports, creative courses, and learning courses as well.
Tech addiction can cause damage to our kids’ health and living. We can’t allow our kids to act like living zombies.
Communication, education, and rules can prevent kids’ tech addiction. Be a role model to your kid, and use the impact of tech for improvement and not for unproductive things.
At what age does internet addiction start?
Depending on when we expose children to tech for the first time. It can start at the age of around 8 and above.
How many hours are considered Internet addiction?
Studies show that more than 2 hours daily is considered tech addiction.
Can I cut off my child’s phone?
That would be the best thing to do, but no, you can’t. Hurting kids’ feelings is not a good idea. Instead, try slowly limiting their tech usage.
What is the root cause of Internet addiction?
Experts say that the cause of Internet addiction lies in the brain, similar to how people get addicted to drugs or alcohol.