These little smartphones in our pockets seem to have gripped us completely. They are small computers in the palms of our hands and they have snatched away from our attention from the rest of the world. It's a strange phenomenon that has really only come into being during the past decade. This is when phones stopped being used just for phone calls and text messages. They suddenly became devices that could entertain us, allow us to communicate with anybody around the world online, help us with our daily lives with different and useful apps, as well as allow us to photograph and record the world. They are truly amazing pieces of technology but they do not and should not be needed for every single hour of the day. Although adults have much better self-control, our children are very young and impressionable. Thus we need to help them not become obsessed with their phones.
Do something active
In most instances, children are using their phones a lot because it's a very diverse technology. It can be used to play games, help them with maths, watch videos, movies and have a presence on social media. One way to get them away from their screens is to do something active. There’s a real debate going on among everyone and not just parents, as to what the solution is for our continuous use of smartphones? So far the leading answer is to do what we did in the old school days when life was about doing things rather than consuming things that fit in our pockets.
If your child isn’t already, have their try out for different sporting teams in their school. Find out what kind of sport they like to play at school for their physical education studies and then see if they want to do more of that after school and on the weekends. So many kids would love to play more of the sports they like but they have no other way than at school. If your child loves to play hockey, then take them to a junior hockey club. If your child wants to play more football, then get some advice from their coach at school and see if they can outside of school somewhere.
What are their habits?
Knowing what you’re children are so distracted by their phones is another thing parents should be trying to figure out. It's important that you don’t snoop on them and try to control what they do to the point that their privacy and independence is stolen from them. Remember that we should try to advise them and help them but not try to control them. This is not something that a loving parent will have an issue with and thus the children won’t feel as if they have to hide something from you. If you put too much pressure on them, they will and simply begin lying to avoid you asking questions.
Using a child phone monitoring service could greatly help you understand what they are using their phone for. It will also show you screen usage time by adding up all the times they had the screen on throughout the day. You can check pricing here and also see the other features of the service such as a parental lock. This is great to block out adult websites which can easily be clicked on by tapping on a popup or banner advertisement. It's a monthly subscription so you have more flexibility at your disposal as well as having the choice of putting this service on up to 3 different devices.
Try to understand them
It's easy to try and peg their obsession with their smartphone as something that entertains them. However, it could also be that they are not so comfortable around other children at school or perhaps they lack social skills to make new friends. It's not black and white, no problem usually is with children. They could also be communicating with someone on their phone. It could be a friend of theirs or perhaps someone they consider a love interest. The bottom line is you should speak to them about their smartphone usage and find out why they are so buried in it without sounding too nosy or as if you’re conducting an investigation.
Smartphone addiction is everywhere in our society and even you might not be so innocent. However, our children need time and space to develop so helping them with their obsession by doing something more active is the best solution. You can also use a service to monitor their screen time as well as where and when they used the phone so they’re not distracted during school hours.
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.