How to handle kids who are gadget freaks?
Is your kid constantly playing games or fiddling with your iPad? Are you worried that gadgets are taking up too much of his or her time? If yes, then you are certainly not alone. The obsessive use of gadgets has triggered off a series of problems in kids at very young ages, and it is high time we took stock of the situation.
Following are the problems caused by excessive gadget use:
- Attention deficit disorder- Whenever you are trying to talk to your gadget-obsessed kids, they are always looking at their devices while hearing you out. As a result, they are usually not able to give you enough attention, which can get quite irritating at times. They have difficulties in paying attention to anything apart from their gadgets.
- Pain in the fingers- Children as young as three or four years are visiting physiotherapy clinics these days, complaining of excessive pain in the fingers. This is caused by constant use of tablets and mobile phones for texting or playing games. At this age, fingers do not have much strength and so if they are strained beyond a point, they are bound to hurt.
- Headaches and watering of eyes- For someone who stares at the mobile, tablet or computer screen for a long duration of time, watering of eyes and severe headaches are bound to occur. The more time spent, the greater are the chances of headaches. Minimise usage and look away from the small screen sometimes, for relaxation to the eyes.
- Back and neck pains- Though these are common with adults working at companies as well, they are likely to stem from childhood. Sometimes not having friends can lead to parents purchasing tablets for children, who spend long hours on the bed playing with these gadgets. Being in the same posture for long can result in neck and back pains.
- Grades going down- For many children, spending too much time with their beloved gadgets affects their grades in a negative manner. They tend to spend more time on mobile devices and less time with books.
- Poor communication skills- Children do not like to talk when in front of their favourite TV shows, or when browsing on their mobile device. As a result, their communication skills tend to suffer a lot.
How to solve the problem of gadget addiction?
- Speak to your children- When at home, do not be so busy that you do not have time to speak to your own children. While doing so, they will feel less neglected and the need to use gadgets will also be less.
- Meal at the dining table- At least one meal a day should be at the dining table, where no one is allowed to use gadgets. The family that eats together stays together.
- Monitor gadget use- If you are giving your mobile phone to your child, monitor the amount of time spent with the gadget. Limit the number of hours spent.
- Speech therapy- In case you notice your child having problems in speech as per age, this could be due to gadget addiction. Visit a speech therapist soon.
- Participate in sports- Encourage the child to participate in outdoor sports activities. This is good for both mental and physical development.