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How to Prevent Mobile Devices Addiction in Children?
Many little children are prolific mobile device users; they watch videos, listen to music and play games. Recent studies show that most children live in their homes with smart mobile devices. In many cases, households no longer use landlines at all, which necessitates the use of mobile phones. This allows children to gain access to mobile devices at very young age.
Many parents argue that smartphones have become something of a necessity to allow them know their children’s whereabouts. It’s quite debatable at what age children should be allowed to handle mobile devices. Some children have genuine use of smartphones and they are probably mature enough have access to these devices as governed by parents and according to specific conditions.
Most experts agree that handing over smart mobile devices to children as young as seven won’t be a good idea. Excessive use of smartphones and tablets could be detrimental to their mental and physical health. Children may easily give away their phone number and other personal information to others. There’s a higher chance that they will be exploited and bullied. This could prove to be a significant distraction and affect the progress of their educational performance.
Excessive use of mobile gadgets may also discourage children to engage in more active lifestyle and physical activities. This could lead to incidences of obesity at later age. Addictions to mobile technologies could result in mood swings, sleep disturbances, detachment from friends, deteriorated educational performance, eye issues and attention problems.
Some pre-teen may inevitably need a smartphone it is the responsibility of parents to monitor mobile usage. Many parents already set specific time slots in which children can watch TVs. Similarly, they should allow children use the smartphone during an allotted time. Children could be encouraged these devices only during weekend or vacations, not otherwise. Mobile devices should be a privilege, not something that they can freely use. Parents should take these devices away if children misuse them.
Intense peer pressure may often cause children to demand for mobile phones. To avoid unintended external influences, children should be educated about potential negative impacts of gadgets. Here are three things parents may do to prevent mobile devices addiction among children:
- Limit Internet access, enable web filtering or even disable web connection to prevent inappropriate web access and apps downloads. Children could better understand the expenses that may go into mobile usages by going in for prepaid plans.
- Set the proper example. Children often model their behaviors around their parents. Parents shouldn’t use mobile devices excessively or take the phone while they are eating or driving.
- Talk to children about where and when it is appropriate to access mobile devices. As an example, children should hand over the tablet or smartphone before they sleep or study.