6 Creative Ways to Help Your Child Prevent Mobile Addiction

Are you a concerned parent trying to keep your child away from a mobile phone and save them from addiction? In this digital era, dependence on gadgets and the internet has become inevitable. Not just adults; even children depend on mobile phones and other gadgets, especially for educational purposes since COVID-19 started. This technological exposure has led to their overuse of mobile phones. Hence, preventing your children from using a phone can often be a daunting task. If left unnoticed, this overuse will lead to mobile addiction in children, which can have an unfavorable impact on your child’s development and result in harmful tendencies in them.

A few signs of mobile phone addiction, according to experts, are given below:

  • Feeling anxious when the phone is not within one’s reach or is out of
  • Excess phone usage interferes with one’s day-to-day chores and profession.
  • Excessive indulgence on the phone, even if surrounded by family or friends.
  • Impacting physical health, resulting in hand and neck pain or eye strain.
  • Lacking a sense of time as a result of mobile phone distractions.
  • Withdrawal from the physical world and staying isolated by distancing oneself from family and friends.
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed.
  • Multiple failed attempts to limit mobile phone usage.

If you notice any such signs in your child’s behaviour, it needs to be considered a warning sign, and immediate attention needs to be given.

If smartphone addiction is not prevented, then it can have multiple adverse effects, like the following, which can be detrimental for children:

  • Obesity
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Behavioural issue
  • Disturbed sleep pattern
  • Less involvement in physical activities
  • Attention, hearing, and active listening issues
  • Delayed social development
  • Impact on the nervous system, etc.

To protect children from these adverse effects due to excessive smartphone usage, here are the 6 creative ways. Though it can be a challenging task to keep them away from gadgets, which may lead to withdrawal symptoms like temper issues and low appetite, the following tips are worthtrying:

  • Do not use mobile as a reward or for distraction. It has been observed that many parents often give their smartphones to their kids to distract their attention, say when they are crying, or as a reward, for instance, to get food eaten by showing videos, or sometimes to get house chores done. However, this can cause more harm than you can imagine. This will make them more dependent on mobile phones, thus making them addicted. Hence, avoid using the mobile phone as a distraction or a reward, as it can have an unpleasant impact on the children.
  • Maintain a smartphone usage schedule: Limiting the smartphone usage time can help kids avoid getting addicted to it to a great extent. By setting a proper schedule, kids can be given adequate time to spend on the smartphone and limit its excessive usage. This also helps parents keep track of the time spent by their kids on mobile phones and restrict their unnecessary usage. Scheduling phone usage will also help develop the habit of routine, which will further reduce screen time.
  • Introduce children to other safe forms of entertainment: Mobile phone usage stops children from indulging in other better forms of entertainment like playing outdoor games, reading, painting, or engaging in any other activities that can enhance their skills. So, providing other sources of entertainment can be effective in improving their skills and preventing them from getting addicted to phones. Get some stocks of books, painting kits, puzzles, and board games, or introduce them to gardening, clay modeling, etc. that match their interests and can stimulate their creativity, critical thinking, decision-making, and social interaction.
  • Promote outdoor play and physical activities: Research shows that mobile addiction in children has resulted in a great decrease in their physical activities, which has further resulted in many health issues. There are even deaths reported in children due to continuous mobile usage for extended hours. Hence, to make children physically, mentally, and emotionally active, making outdoor play a routine of their lives is inevitable. Whether it's playing in the playground with friends, going for a walk, practicing yoga, swimming, or playing sports with friends like tennis or football, all these offer various benefits for their physical and socio-emotional health, cognitive development, and overall well-being.
  • Set password protection: Dissuading your child is not always possible when you are not around or are involved in other work. To keep a check on your child’s mobile usage in such scenarios, it is better to set up password protection on your phone.
  • Set a screen time limit: Another effective method to prevent your child from getting addicted to their mobile phone is by setting a screen time limit for app usage. This will help you to control your child’s excessive mobile phone usage, as they will not be able to use the phone more than the set time.

By following these methods, you can be successful in preventing your child from getting addicted to mobile phones and diverting their attention and interest to other engaging physical activities.

Akshharam, the leading provider of the best Malayalam classes for kids through digital media, understands how spending too much time on the phone can harm kids. Hence, being a reputed provider of online Malayalam classes for kids, we schedule classes for the students, keeping in mind the need to reduce screen time without affecting their effective learning process.