3 Quick Tips To Prevent Digital Addiction
What is the one thing today that concerns most parents nowadays? DIGITAL ADDICTION! This concern was non-existent just about 10 years ago. With technology, the challenges we face today as a parent are aplenty, but none are as concerning as ‘Digital Addiction’ is.
How do we define ‘Digital Addiction’?
If you are a victim of any one of the following four points, then, you are suffering from ‘Digital Addiction’.
- You are hooked to the digital platforms & devices for more than 2 hours a day
- You prefer conversations with friends & family happen via Whatsapp rather than on a call or by meeting them up in person.
- You become uneasy in absence of your device or get worked up when you have connectivity issues.
- You are spending more time on social media than interacting with actual people.
Some scary facts:
According to a recent report of USA Today, about 47% of parents are concerned about their child’s digital addiction.
How to prevent digital addiction in children? Be a great role model!
Parents say that children do not listen to them when they are asked to reduce technology usage. An important question here is, are the parents being a great role model?
- The fact is, smartphone addiction among adults is at its peak nowadays.
- More than 60% of adults admit they are addicted to technology.
- About 70% of adults sleep with their mobile next to them.
- As many as 81% of adults agree that when they wake up, (even if it is to go to the washroom in the middle of the night) the first thing that they do is check their mobile phone.
Do you find yourself doing similar things?
So how to deal with the elephant in the room? What can bring about a change in this situation?
To address the ‘elephant’, the following points will be of help.
1) There is NO individual solution to this problem of digital addiction.
Everyone ‘as a family’ must work together towards solving digital addiction. Ideally, do not create any rule that is applicable, exclusively for the children. The same rule should be applicable to the whole family. Then, the results will be faster and better. Implementing this point will be exciting needing commitment and vision. Most adults would prefer to be excused from this approach in the guise of ‘having important things to do’.
2) Be ready to take tough calls.
There is no easy way to get this done. Since we are used to a pattern & have become habitual, overcoming digital addiction is going to be uncomfortable. The tough call will be to ‘Break the habit’. However, when you take the ‘tough call’, you will realize it is not as difficult as you thought. Within a few days, you will happily realize, it was a smart thing to do. Time at home will become rejuvenation and therapy. There will be an ease and laughter in relationships that had gone missing. You will be mighty pleased with yourself.
Why is it the need of the hour?
Imagine your child wants to talk with you and he sees both of you engrossed with your respective mobile. The child feels left out and disconnected. Communication gap gets created in such situations. If children don’t speak and pile up things, it can lead to grave consequences.
Now, how do we break a habit, which is tempting?
1. Ban Gadgets on Dining Table.
Make a family rule. No gadgets allowed on the dining table. Remove even the magazines and newspapers from the table. Now, dinner time is a family bonding time. It gives us a chance to share interesting happenings in our lives. Listening helps us to understand each other better. These kinds of settings are also perfect for jokes, bantering, pulling each other’s legs etc. Decades later, we will not remember what we ate, we will remember how we laughed.
2. No Gadgets in the Bedroom.
What! No gadgets in the bedroom too? Well, don’t freak out.
Agreed that this sounds uncomfortable, but to make children free from this toxic addiction, let us do it. How will it benefit? To begin with, your kids can see that in spite of being super busy, you can put the phone aside, they too can. Then, everyone will start sleeping in time, therefore, waking up on time will be a breeze. Finally, the bedroom should be all about you and your spouse. Let this most intimate relationship in the world flourish. The buzz from within should magnetize both of you to each other. The buzz from the phone should not pull you away from each other.
How do you go about it?
Dedicate an area in your living room where all the gadgets should be kept before entering the bedroom. When children will observe it, they will imitate it. They will see that you can be happy without the gadgets.
3. Bring back family fun and family games.
Now, this is an exciting thing to do. Bonding with children doesn’t happen while watching TV or scrolling down the social media posts.
So the solution is, bring back those board games, card games, and pillow fights. Yes, you read that right, pillow fights too.
Here are a few suggestions for games that you can play as a family. Mind you, most of these games have been suggested by parents themselves.
- Take off each other's socks. This is hilarious.
- Write a story. One sentence at a time, one person writes and passes the paper on to the next member and it goes on like that.
- Pillow fight (my favorite)
- Dumb Charades
- And much more…
So which one is your favorite?
Let’s not give in to our temptations. Let us work on the solutions shared. In the short term, it may be a little uncomfortable and inconvenient. In the long run, these solutions will free you from the shackles of mindless technology & wasteful digital addiction.
Do drop in your feedback, progress & challenges you faced when coping with ‘Digital Addiction’. You can also #asknaren your queries. We will be happy to respond.
Also read: 5 Ways to Keep Your Kid Away From Gadgets