Mobile phones are a part of any person’s everyday life. Whether you are young or old it’s highly probable you are using a phone, furthermore, it’s likely a smartphone. For kids, constant and excessive use of smartphones can cause addiction which can adversely affect them. The effects can vary but overall side effects are always detracting from the child’s overall health. Below, we will assist you with helping your child avoid smartphone addiction.
Put a timer on the phone’s use
This is a step that should be taken lightly now and become more rigorous as other suggestions fail. The timer shouldn’t be anything too limiting. Even having a very lenient timer at first is fine.
Setting them to 5 or 6 hours could still work as a way to have a decent distinction between your kid being under a certain barrier and going way overboard. This can also be used to track how your kid’s phone use increases.
However, if they fail to cut down use on their own accord or through other forms of engagement from the parent this timer may need to become shorter. The more serious the situation the harsher the measures. Regardless, you’ll need some tools for employing this step. For that, we recommend the Chamspy cell phone tracker. It can act as a timer, tracker, and many other tools that you may need to help your child have a safe time using phones.
Engage with your kid
While the schedules can be messy for both parents and children, especially if these schedules cover totally different times of day, it’s important to find time to directly engage with your child. This is probably the best way of resolving and preventing smartphone addiction. By engaging with them in myriad different ways, you’ll be able to distract them from the phone and instead have them focus on a separate activity. This activity can be something standard like a walk or something specific that you know they’d enjoy. Take them out for some sports or even a treat.
This is a healthy way to get them away from smartphones and even if they take them with themselves you can keep the kid engaged in a conversation or activity you went out to do. That way, they will spend less time on the phone and more time with you. These activities bolster the interaction between you and your child, even more, allowing for a much stronger bond between you two further down the line. Even if this step ends up not being enough to prevent excessive use of smartphones you’ve created a good base for all future interactions with them.
Make sure they finish their obligations before using a smartphone
While the use of a smartphone as a reward may not be the best way to go, making sure your child prioritizes their more important tasks before hopping onto the phone is suggested. Usually, homework or preparation for an exam will come first before spending time on the phone itself. An approach like this can aid them to form a healthy list of priorities to follow daily.
Even as they grow and face other issues, the child will be much more capable of managing their time because they have been taught to focus on certain tasks before others.
When engaging your child with these limiters, make sure to have a proper approach. Being too forceful doesn’t help and sometimes it’s understandable that your kid might be too exhausted to commit to other tasks right now. By giving them some time to rest and relax you are allowing the child to engage in its obligations prepared and refreshed. That’ll cut down the time necessary to actually finish these tasks and probably make their completion that much easier. Of course, this doesn’t have to include smartphones but sometimes your kid would rather watch a few videos on YouTube to unwind after a tiring day of school.
Utilize the advantages of smartphones
There are plentiful ways for your child to spend time on their smartphones in a much more fruitful manner. This can be anything from watching educational videos to researching a subject they are interested in. Sometimes, your child may be interested in a subject but unaware of the available tools their smartphone offers in order to engage them with it. Additionally, they may simply need somebody else to indulge their interests and research the subject together.
The best way to make sure our kids are utilizing the advantages and benefits of smartphones to their fullest is by helping them figure out the most potent tools to do so. Finding forums or sites that could engage them in a discussion about said subjects is a good start. Locating online libraries with a wealth of PDFs that tie into their interests could easily enhance the overall experience your child has with a smartphone.
Once you have that handled, connect these interests to something that isn’t tied to the smartphone. Anything from books to engaging workshops can be a great way to bolster their interest while taking them away from the phone. It’s even better if you can engage the whole family with it. That way you’ll be having an enjoyable family time, helping the child indulge their interests, and cutting down the time they spend on the smartphone all at once. If you have multiple kids this tactic can be even more potent as each kid has their own unique thing they are doing which can engage others to cut down their time on smartphones further.
Sometimes, a parent has to take a more direct stance on cutting downtime on the phone. If none of the other approaches work, it’s time to go with the simplest route. That would be employing schedules and limited smartphone use throughout the day. The strictness and the actual form of it can change but it’ll always require you to uphold authority and rules.
You could allow your kid to use the smartphone a certain number of hours per day or even divide their smartphone usage throughout the day. Once again you should keep in mind that the act of enforcing this schedule shouldn’t be too forceful or without elaboration to the kid. Make sure to take time to explain why you are limiting their usage of the phone and answer their questions and concerns appropriately.
When employing strict systems like this communication is important. Otherwise, the kid may be unaware of the potential consequences that overexposure to smartphones could cause and see the restrictions as an unjustified limit set by the parent. This could cause more issues in your interactions across the board so make sure to be open to questions and explanations on the measures you employ. This also holds true for any other measure you may employ so keep that in mind whenever limiting your child in some way.