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How to tackle the growing smartphone addiction among teenagers?
In our childhood, addiction meant smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Now this generation youngsters are getting addicted to Smartphones which is far more dangerous. For the addictions of smoking and alcohol, they need a time and a place. Cell phone addiction can go on for 24 hrs a day even without getting noticed.
It is a serious problem and parents should be worried about it because smartphones are so ubiquitous that managing your teen behavior is also problematic. According to a survey a teen is tethered to his smartphone at least 8-10 hours a day. When is he doing other important activities in his life?
With more and more apps, games, social media, a teenager is hooked up to his smartphone beyond talking and texting. The brain reacts to the ringing and alerts as if it were a drug. Like any other addiction, it is very difficult to stop. The teenager will not know when and where to stop.
Here comes the role of parents. They should take up measures to get their teenagers out of this obsession with cell phones. They can try these methods −
Cut off your kids data plan and give them limited Internet access
Keep strict timings for phone usage and follow them. Simply making rules and not following them does not help
Never link up the phone to studies. Never say "If you study for one hour, I will give you the phone for 30 mins". Then it will seem to them that studying is punishment.
Try to postpone buying a smartphone as long as you can. Give them a basic phone.
Check the apps on their phone regularly
Take away the phone in the night. You have to implement this strictly. No phone Zone from night 10 p.m to the morning at 7 a.m. I know it is difficult, but sometimes we have to keep your foot down.
When you set out to implement these rules, initially it will be a tough job as they are surrounded by friends and peers with more freedom. You have to be patient and make them understand that you are a different set of parents and you are doing this for their good only. Try to be more friendly with your kids and take them to no technology zones and vacations regularly.
As a parent, if you keep checking your phone every 2 mins and ask your teenager not to touch the phone, that will not work. You should be a role model for them in this matter. You have to implement the "no phone timings" before you teach them.
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