Helping Your Child With A Technology Addiction

Most children born into the 21st century have lived a life where technology is a part of their everyday life – it is their normality. Now becoming increasingly prevalent in schools there is simply no escape. As technology is a considerable part of their life, there can be a blurred line between how much screen time is too much.

If you feel your child is on their device too often and their behaviour is affected by this, then you are probably correct in your assumption. So how much is too much and how do you decipher if your child is addicted to technology?

Signs to look for:

  1. Shows a lack of interest in other activities
    Would they rather screen time over other leisure activities?
    Have they stopped seeking out alternate activities, they use to enjoy?
  2. Constantly distracted by their device
    Are you unable to communicate with your child while they are on their device?
  3. Displays problematic behaviour when they are unable to be on their device
     Are there tantrums, tears, or aggression if they are unable to access their devices?
  4. Constantly talking about screen time
    When they are not online are they constantly talking about something they have done or seen on their device?
  5. Withdrawal symptoms
    Do they become anxious, upset, or demanding when they can not access their devices and then calmer when they do?

If you said yes, to any of the above it is important to address this problem sooner than later. When weaning your child off their technology devices it is critical to consider the following:

  1. Don’t remove the device usage completely
    It is critical to slowly transition your child to less screen time. Removing it completely will seem like a punishment instead of working towards their best interest. Slowly reduce this over time.
  2. If there were no boundaries previously – It’s time to set some.
    This may look like setting a time limit and sticking to this. You may also like to implement a no screen time period such as just before bedtime which will allow for other activities such as family time.
  3. Make a hierarchy of priorities
    Set a list of priorities that must be completed before screen time can commence such as homework, chores, family time, etc.
  4. Make a hierarchy of screen time
    You may like to ensure that educational screen time is completed before online games.
  5. Start by changing content rather than usage
    Look to review all apps and consider swapping out some of the mindless games with ones that have an educational grounding.
  6. Replace their screen time with other activities
    Encourage activities that interest your children such as outdoor play, drawing or reading. You may even like to encourage your children in this discussion allowing them to choose an activity, this way they won’t feel like you are dictating the activity, instead they have chosen it independently, helping them to feel more engaged with the activity.

When you start to implement these strategies, your child will be reducing their screen time without even noticing it.

For more information on seeing a professional, contact our team on 0481 092 861, or submit your referral here.

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