Smartphone addiction among children
The data on children’s addiction to phones is alarming. This indicates that the problem is becoming increasingly serious and affecting a growing number of children. This is happening for a simple reason – mobile phones are easily accessible and even the youngest children have them. Check how excessive use of the phone affects your child and how you can help them.
Smartphone addiction – what is it?
The official name for addiction to phones is Nomophobia. It is defined as a fear of being without access to one’s phone. The problem, however, is not the smartphone as a device, but the possibilities it offers to children. Access to the internet, staying in touch with friends, watching interesting videos, a wide range of apps, pornography, dating apps, cybersex, as well as gambling and trading, which are becoming more and more common among teenagers. A phone with internet access provides children with many stimuli and emotions that are not as common in the real world. Escape into the virtual world allows for free creation of one’s personality and exposure to strong stimuli that bring pleasure to minors.
Phone addiction in children
Children, due to their lack of sufficient maturity, are more susceptible to phone addiction. Improper use of the device, combined
Combined with the search for quick impulses, inexperienced use of the device makes teenagers spend many hours staring at their smartphone screens. Every parent who notices their child’s excessive phone use should intervene quickly, as ignoring the problem can have tragic consequences. A survey conducted among teachers reveals that:
- Telephones distract children at school. This translates to a lack of concentration and a deterioration in academic performance.
- 90% of teachers claim that young people who overuse their phones struggle with concentration and experience a decline in academic performance.
- Teenagers who use their phones for 5 hours a day are more at risk of suicide compared to children who use their smartphones for only an hour a day, with the risk increasing by 71%.
- High school students who are active on social media are more likely to develop depression. .
As many as 47% of parents notice smartphone addiction in their children, with 89% of them blaming themselves and other guardians for this state. Half of parents express concern about their children’s excessive use of smartphones.
How can you prevent your child from becoming addicted to their phone?
A child may not be aware of the potential consequences and negative factors of excessive phone use. In such situations, simply taking away the device may not be enough and may trigger aggression and other withdrawal symptoms in the child – unfortunately, just like in the case of other addictions, they may occur. There are several things you can do to help your child.
You can use applications that allow you to monitor your child’s online activity. Calmean Parental Control app allows you to have access to data such as:
- The time the child spends on the phone.
- where they are currently located
- what apps they are using
- What YouTube videos they are watching
- what websites the child visits on their browser.
- It enforces the use of safe search on Google
- protects from unauthorized content.
Additionally, you can set a limit on phone usage and block applications that you feel are not appropriate for your child. With Calmean Parental Control, you are aware of what is happening with your child’s device. This gives you the opportunity to intervene at the right time and help them.
Other apps that will also help you keep track of your child’s online activity include Eset Parental Control, OurPact, and Chroń dzieci w sieci.
Another issue is that the example comes from the top. You need to be an example for your child and teach them the right attitudes. If you yourself overuse your phone, you cannot blame your child for doing the same.
Fill your child’s free time – make sure that during their free time, your child engages in activities that interest them. Physical activity and sports discipline have a very positive impact on children’s development and reduce their stress levels.
Create clear rules in your home. Clearly define where and when the phone can be used. Not having the phone at night, using it only at certain times, and not using it at the table will have a positive impact on the child’s overall mood and protect them from overstimulation.
Take care of communication in your family – an honest conversation, spending quality time together, and sharing problems can make your child stop searching for solutions in their phone.