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12 Ways to prevent gadget addiction in kids

12 Ways to prevent gadget addiction in kids

12 ways to prevent Tech Gadget Addiction in Kids

Yes, kids love technology, but they also love Legos, scented markers, handstands, books and mud puddles.
It’s all about balance.

         - Anonymous
Yes, kids love technology, but they also love Legos, scented markers, handstands, books and mud puddles.
It’s all about balance.

         - Anonymous

Technology has facilitated our lives in ways that no one would have ever imagined in past. Whatever you need is at a distance of a click. But, while we look at it as a boon, it is also a curse. Yes the fact stands true that technology is making our life easier in many different ways but in the process it have drastically changed the way we live, deeply influenced the way we behave and somehow altered the way we think.

The point I want to make here is simple- the implications of technology having such deep impact on our lives is no good for a 21st century kid.

On one side gadgets have become a necessary and on the other it have let to children become gadget freaks.

I feel blessed that I was born before technology took over. Anyone reading this could practically think till 90s there was nothing else a child could do except going out playing with friends or going out for a movie with family, other entertainment were comics books and course books. Though it may bring some black and white memories to your head but it was a golden era compared to the current scenario.

Coming to the current generation, technology has opened ways in which kids can entertain themselves. Kids no more like to go out and play, there activities are stifled to the walls of the gadgets. And why would they be interested in going out when entertainment is literally in hands. Moreover the values of friends are lost. Child loves company of gadgets maybe because it does what child asks it to do.

 

After many researches on the same the subject it was clear that overuse of tech gadgets are sure to cause negative effects on child’s physical and mental development. Some of the effects included the following:

Drastic Brain Development-  Studies have shown that too much use of gadgets can harm brain and may lead to attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity, and decreased ability to self-regulation.

Obesity- When kids are more fascinated by the screens instead of physical play they do not burn calories resulting in obesity.

Reduced interaction- Games and software specially developed for kids can easily keep kids busy with their gadgets and they are happy to play at their own.  In an article published in The New York Times, Dr. Gary Small, author of “iBrain:Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind” and director if the Longevity Center at the University of California says that if children spend too much time on technology and less time with people, it hinders interaction and disrupts the normal communication skill development on children.

Sleep Deprivation- Children who get addicted to playing on their phones or tablets miss out on the needed rest

Damaged Eyesight- Prolonged exposure at computer screens strains the eyes. Experts say that good eyesight largely depends upon staring at things of varying distances. Research shows that children who are addicted to playing computer games are more likely to develop eye problems as they grow.

Technology have bought us too far and there is no way technology can be avoided, keeping this thought in mind I have made a List of 12 effective ways to get kids out of gadget addiction and enjoy real life.

Some Cold Hard facts

  • 38% of children under 2 have used a mobile device
  • 45% of parents with children ages 2-13 say they plan to purchase a device for their kids to read eBooks.
  • 93% of teenagers have a computer or have access to one.
  • Children ages 12 to 18 spend nearly two hours a day texting alone.
  • 41% of kids spends 3+ hours a day on computers for non-school related activities.
#1/12

BE A ROLE MODEL YOURSELF

If you are a parent, you are possibly the first human being your kid know after his birth. Your kids have always looked at you and learned doing stuff. They are your reflection. They will always follow your footsteps ever if you are wrong or right. Your child’s personality and character is the result of environment around him and you play a key role in his environment. You yourself have to reduce tech usage so that your child will be motivated to follow you. Desist yourself from using your gadgets at home or keep it to a bare minimum in their presence.

#2/12

Encourage outdoor activities and play with them

Motivate your child to participate in outdoor activities or games, this will help in keeping them physically fit and will also help them in initiating creative and imaginative play. Moreover this will help strengthen the bond of friendship between you and you kind.

#3/12

Ensure productive technology habits

So far I have talked about many negative aspects of tech gadgets but the number of positives also exists in good numbers. There are many different ways in which you can make productive use of gadgets, Here is what i found the best on internet

#4/12

Show interest in their lives

Children need to spend time with their parents. Show your child that you interested in what they’re doing. Getting involved does not mean that you are constantly behind your child, give them their space but at the same time be available for them. In this way you’ll also to able to moniter their activities.

#5/12

Make timetable for viewing

It is helpful if you allocate time and days for using gadgets. This would help in limiting the use of them and with the passage of time, your kids will adapt to the timings.

#6/12

No cell phones or games during meals

Good meals are important for children’s health and growth. When kids play with gadgets, their entire focus is on the gadgets and don’t really focus on anything else. It’s the same case with us adults too. Don’t allow the use of gadgets during meal time, whether its kids or adults.

#7/12

Frequently invite other kids to home

To make kids less interested in gadgets, you have to make them more social. Try to invite kids and relatives to home atleast twice a month so that your child can get more social with other kids and spend time with them playing rather than being with gadgets.

#8/12

Give kids rewards

Every time your kid does something good or shows good behavior, reward them. This will encourage kids to do the right thing and they will want you to encourage them. Now by rewards, I don’t necessarily mean handing them sweets or toys, try to be more creative like sit back with the child and make a toy plane together.

#9/12

Make no-gadget zone in homes

There should be areas in your house that should be gadget free, like the dining area, the study room, the living room or any other area where the family gathers together.

Re restrict mobile use
#10/12

Don’t put up TV or other devices in child’s room

Keeping a TV or other electronic gadget in your child’s bedroom will adversely affect your child sleep and you won’t know what your child watching. Also, they may use these gadgets until the late hours of the night. It may also affect their studies.

#11/12

Tell them about the side effects of gadgets

It is the need of the hour to teach your child so that they understand from early on about the adverse effects of gadget us and for their sake, you can also exaggerate the things a little bit.

#12/12

Go seek help

Many times gadget addiction is a symptom of underlying Anxiety Disorder or Depression.Visiting a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist will help; they will help your child calm down and teach you ways to deal with your child and also recommend medications if required.

Here are some tools to break off gadget addiction:

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Forest App

Forest provides an interesting solution to beat your phone addiction. You can plant a seed in Forest. In the following time, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if you cannot resist the temptation and leave this app to check Facebook or play a game, your tree will wither away.
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Freedom App

Freedom is the world-famous Internet, social media, and app blocker. Block websites and apps on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Windows computers.
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Moment App

Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit.

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Focus Me App

FocusMe is the most powerful Website and Application Blocker for Windows Mac. FocusMe provide you with some of the  best features to block websites and applications.

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