Is your child showing symptoms of Nomophobia?
Yes, that’s the word used now for people who are addicted to their smartphones.
Smartphones and all digital appliances impact children and youngsters in various ways. British researchers recently found that one in every fourth child has an addictive relationship with using a smartphone every day.
In another study, it was found that 46% of children in Australia aged 6-13 have mobile phones. And with the introduction of online schools and tutoring, this number is likely to go up.
The world health organization has already issued a statement regarding this. Children up to age 3 should not be allowed to look at screens and screen time should be restricted once they grow older than 4. Also, since there is no regulation of content online, children are more vulnerable to inappropriate content from an early age.
Sure, no parents want that.
So, let’s see what are 5 ways you can protect your child from having nomophobia at an early age.
1. Keep your child engaged
The biggest reason children get addicted to phones is that they are not encouraged to play outside these days. With shrinking playing and indoor spaces, children get bored often and thus touch smartphones for getting distracted.
To avoid this, encourage them to meet with their friends more and play with them.
You can even buy toy tents, playhouses, or cubby houses online. Engaging in playing with toys like this is going to make them more active and agile than otherwise.
You can even enrol your child in a nearby sports centre. Find out what she likes and encourage her. It will not only help her resist using phones but will also make her focused and disciplined.
2. Set passwords
Probably the easiest step which you can take right now, to prevent your kids from touching phones is changing the phone password. Yes, since it’s not possible to keep an eye on the kid 24*7, setting passwords will help you restrain them from staying on the phone.
Consequently, they would be “forced” to do other activities. It will help to bring the creative side of them. Buy coloring books, crafts, or a musical instrument for them. It will keep them busy and also develop brain functioning which is very important at this age.
3. Develop good habits
It’s no secret that parents learn from their children. If you are someone that stays on their phone all day, your child is likely to adopt that and do the same.
So, be a good role model and infuse good habits in yourself and then your child. Try to involve them more in exercising or talk them out in nearby parks.
Try to use fewer phones in the house and if your profession demands, explain it to them. But don’t be the one that becomes a reason for them to get addicted to the phone.
4. Bond with them
It is mostly seen that the busy lives of parents are one of the major contributions to child phone addiction.
Not only that, few parents themselves direct their child to spend time on the phone because they want to focus on work. Now, it is totally understandable that your work life has been demanding, but still, you can take out time for the child if everything is properly planned.
Talk to your kids before bed, introduce the no-phone rule at the dinner table, take them to parks every weekend, play their favorite sports with them, and even take their help with little household chores. Bonding with children makes them feel valued and loved.
Hence, the relationship stays strong, even if you would tell him to drop off their phone, they would obey instead of resisting.
5. Set limits
Listen, it’s not totally possible to keep your child away from all digital gadgets when she grows old. Complete prohibition is only going to draw her curiosity more towards it.
So, instead, let them use it but set a time limit.
Communicate properly with them that beyond the prescribed time, they are not allowed to be active on phone.
You can also go ahead and download parental control apps. It will automatically restrict your child’s ability in case you forget.
Over to you…
As much as technology has its positive effects, we cannot ignore its negative impacts. Poor children are one such victim of it. But with these tips, I am sure you will be able to make your child live a better life, free from mobile addiction.