With everything becoming digital, it’s hard to control the screen time of kids. If your child is developing a screen addiction, you should take action to control it. But before acting out, you have to find the exact problem.
Here are the top 4 reasons why Gen Alpha is failing to control its screen addiction:-
Hyperfocus can be a boon or curse depending on the situation. It is a psychological condition where the attention of the kid lasts for long hours. Some youngsters become so concentrated that they lose track of time.
The leading cause of increased screen time is kids focusing on specific things like video games, TV shows, or their favorite subjects. They find it difficult to easily disengage when completing them.
Preservation signifies trouble shifting attention from one thing to another. Some children become so addicted to their phones, they face difficulty moving on.
It could be related to how they won the last video game or when they got an A grade in math. They get stuck in a loop without even realizing it.
3. Problems related to executive Function
Executive Function is a set of skills that helps kids to plan, act, have self-control, etc. It assists in the creation of a responsible adult who is great at multitasking. For example, taking care of the household, and being productive at work simultaneously.
However, complications in executive function often result in distraction. The children might face difficulty in holding their attention to a subject for a long time.
4. Issues with flexible thinking
Few kids show the symptoms of intense mood swings while switching from one activity to another. There is a high chance they are suffering from problems related to flexible thinking. Although they may come across as arrogant to you, what they are doing is not mind-controlling.
All these problems are curable.
1. Control your screen time
Dr. Jiow Hee Jhee, Assistant professor and program director of the Singapore Institute of Technology and member of the Media Literacy Council found in his research that parents are the digital role model for their kids. If they can control their screen time, the child will eventually mimic their actions.
To justify this point, he experimented on two families. One family was told to use their mobile only at a specific time for 60 days. Another family can use electronics at any time.
The children of the first family were able to control their screen timing, wherein the kids of the second family were relentlessly using phones.
2. Don’t give your kids mobiles without a contract
After covid, everything in the education sector has changed drastically. Online education is now booming. But it’s best to wait before giving your kid a personal phone.
In case electronics are mandatory for your kid’s education, utilize the contract technique. Parents like Prof. Geller who teaches statistics at Yale University are making contracts with their children to help them develop healthy digital practices.
He found an efficient way to control screen addiction. When Professor Geller’s son received his first smartphone, Geller got him to sign a “Smart Device Ownership” contract. He has to follow some guidelines to use the mobile.
Professor Geller made sure that he is renewing the contract according to his son’s age. After he was 18, he no longer needed any contract. As a result, whenever Geller’s son finds any app that decreases his productivity, he uninstalls it immediately.
3. Encourage screen-free mealtime
Eating is a crucial activity. If kids don’t focus on what they eat, they might end up eating more than required. It results in many diseases like obesity, sugar, and high blood pressure.
So parents need to follow strict rules to make mealtime screen-free. Doctors say if the guardian can join their kids during lunch or dinner time and initiate conversations, kids will learn to enjoy food and socialize with others at the table.
4. Don’t leave your kids with a mobile
Nowadays parents are so busy working that they fail to spend quality time with their kids. Most modern caregivers are guilty of using mobile phones as a substitute for their attention. Though it might seem a clever trick, this practice is giving birth to screen addiction.
If you are packed with a tight schedule, create a play yard in the house. Fill that area with your kid’s favorite toys to keep them busy. In case your child demands a phone for their school project or homework, make sure you are present there.
Ensure that you are not allowing gadgets in their room. Instead, ask them to leave it in the hall. If possible, you can also keep the gadgets out of your bedroom.
This will send a good message to your little one. With these tiny steps, you can quickly reduce your kid’s screen timing.