These days everyone is addicted to their smartphones and even the teenagers now feel that they are addicted to their phones. A recent Pew survey revealed that more than half of the U.S. teenagers think they use their smartphones too much. Screen time or phone addiction is attracting attention from all quarters of life. Though Google, Facebook and Apple have all introduced some tools to cut down on the smartphone use, there has not been enough evidence of how helpful these steps have been. Doctors and experts have already warned people about the overuse of smartphones and other handheld devices and their effects on children’s cognitive and social development.
Here are seven ways you can treat the malice your child’s smartphone addiction.
- Create a plan
Just as kids learn to drive before getting a driving license, they should not be allowed to operate their first smartphones all by themselves. So how should you go about it? The best way to start with this is to make a comprehensive plan. A plan with set guidelines and rules is all important because once you give your son a phone then it’s harder to apply the rules later. It is better to take your time and discuss all the major aspects regarding the appropriate use. Your plan should include the rules about the time of use and the potential penalties if a rule is compromised.
Beware of imposing the rules on your kids. You don’t have to come down hard on them because aggression begets aggression. If you don’t want to strain your relationship with your children, then it is better to communicate the smartphone usage rules with them. Also, emphasize how these rules could help them in regulating their smartphone overuse.
Discuss with them how you want the rules to be implemented at family times, meal times, or during study hours. When they trust you, they will themselves help you in making and implementing the plan. Coercing them to do something they don’t want to would only aggravate the matter. But if you do it amicably, they will not only learn to obey rules but also become more responsible. But what could be the limits of use?
- Setting limits
Any rules in your plan must be balanced. You must understand that smartphones are equally helpful for your child; for learning and also for socializing. So the rules should help them regulate their smartphone use. Some of the rules could be like:
- No phones during meals
- No smartphones an hour before bedtime
- Limited phone use during the exam week
- Allowing smartphones only after homework.
Remember that it will not be easy to implement these rules. Don’t expect your kid to come to you and say “Here, take my phone, mom.” This will never happen. You have to make sure they implement these rules to control your child’s smartphone addiction. The above rules seem simple but implementing them can go a long way to balancing your kid’s smartphone use.
- Monitor your plan
You are not going to ban the smartphone use; instead, you are just adjusting how your children use their phones. The purpose of monitoring your kids’ smartphone use is to understand how your kids are spending time on their phones. By monitoring their use, you will be able to look for any anomalous activity and then come up with the right amount of help. But it’s hard to get a hang of their smartphone activity without using a monitoring app which allows you to remotely view what someone does on their phone. The app like Xnspy offers extensive reports and logs for browsing history, phone calls, emails, social media, and so on. You will know which app your kid is using the most and which unknown number is he calling the most. By monitoring your plan, you can better assess which areas need more emphasis on your child’s smartphone use.
- Set passwords
If you find that your kid is not following the rules, then there are technological fixes to this problem as well. You don’t need to snatch phones from them. There are a number of applications in the market that can lock the phone remotely. You can also get alerts when your kid uses the phone more than the allowed limit of use. Similarly, the phone can be automatically switched off after you set a time limit on the monitored phone.
- Take a break
When communicating with your child, decide upon a few hours when it will be suitable for them to keep their phones aside. You can set a family time during which no one uses the phone at home. Instead of staying indoors, take your kid out and play with them. Figure out which sports they like and get them registered in their local sports club. Some physical activity will not only shift your kid’s attention from their phone but also help them stay healthy and active.
- Be an example
Last but not least, you are the first and the most influential person in your child’s lie. Anything kids learn is mostly derived from their parents especially when they are young. Therefore, if you have set healthy guidelines for smartphone use, then you must also follow them. You should worry more about your smartphone use if you cannot live without your smartphone. If, for some reason, your profession demands you to use the cell phone frequently, then better explain that to your kids, categorically.
These are few ways to control your child’s smartphone addiction. If you have any ways to control this addiction, do share with us.
Also, Read Why Play is important for kids.
December 29, 2018 at 12:19 am
Controlling our children’s and even our own smartphone addictions are the need of the hour. You are absolutely right about the fact that we need to set the right example for them to learn from first. Thank you for sharing.
December 29, 2018 at 12:29 am
Before I became a mom, I used to think it’s super easy to control screen time. Now, I know it’s a tough task. It requires the parents to really engage with the kid in other activities so that he/she doesn’t feel the need to watch TV/videos.
December 29, 2018 at 2:35 am
This issue really has a lot of us worried. Smart phones has become such an important aspect of all of lives that getting a child off from screen Time is becoming difficult. These are useful pointers though, thank you.
December 29, 2018 at 7:02 am
Quite a great post . I’m sure most of the parents are in panic mode due to their kids phones/gadgets usages and that’s why one needs to read this post
December 29, 2018 at 7:03 am
Controlling kids screen time has never been a easy task. We need to plan, plan and plan and monitor a lot. Also explaining them helps at times. Great post
December 29, 2018 at 10:19 am
This is such a great post. I am going all that I can do to limit my kids’ screen time. Most importantly we should practise less use of gadgets too.
December 29, 2018 at 11:10 am
Being an example, I believe is the best to control where you are showing children that spending hands down time with people is more beneficial as opposed to spending it online!
December 29, 2018 at 6:15 pm
Being an example is quite a practical yet the most difficult way. The best thing is to engage them in physical activities . To start with, giving them a set time frame is good way.
December 29, 2018 at 6:26 pm
Excellent pointers.Parental control helps parents a lot to control what kids are watching. Also we have to set fixed intervals when they can watch gadgets.
December 29, 2018 at 8:57 pm
The most important point is that we should be an example as kids tend to copy elders. Nice post!
December 30, 2018 at 11:46 am
This is such an important topic. Thankyou for sharing such amazing article. Kids now-a-days are totally engrossed in screens. This is very effective blog.
December 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm
To get a control over our own and our kid’s smart phone addiction is really necessary these days. The main point is we should establish an example of our own in front of them and it will definitely help.
January 2, 2019 at 10:11 am
Great!!! This is a big issue for parents how to control your child smartphone addiction. Thanks for sharing the solution for parents.. keep it up dear.
January 2, 2019 at 12:54 pm
Thanks Kalpana for stopping by and glad you liked the articles.
January 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm
Kids and their smartphones are inseparable companions these days, aren’t they! I love your practical tips, and my favorite ones is ‘Setting an example’ Hope this helpful post is read by parents all over.
January 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm
Thank you for providing me with a plan. I think the most important step he is about communicating with your child. What difference does the Xnspy make for me was that I felt more comfortable while talking to my kids. I better know what their online engagements are and how they spend their time online.
January 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm
For me, setting limits is the trickiest part. You don’t want to get down hard on your child’s smartphone use but at the same time, you don’t want him to stay on their tab for hours. Using a monitoring app really helps in this regard.
January 21, 2019 at 7:21 pm
The most important step I must say is monitoring the smartphone use. You set a plan and devise the limits but monitoring those limits at every level is difficult. What helped, in this case, was Xnspy’s watch list feature. It helped me track most of the things I was looking for.