Computers are an incredibly useful tool and have the ability to help you get a lot done, however wasting time on it seems to be way too easy. Lots of children have problems with spending too much time in front of their PC or device, to the dismay of many parents. Computer addiction, particularly to such features like games or instant chats and messaging platforms, has been described as being just as strong as a drug addiction, and while your kid may not be to that point, their excessive computer and Internet usage could lead to some more serious problems down the road.
Internet addiction in kids is of particular concern to a large number of parents because kids’ brains are still in a development phase, and thus the effects of constant Internet usage on a developing brain and mind can be devastating.
It is very important that parents understand the signs and consequences of Internet addiction and they should learn what they could do to prevent their kid from becoming an addict. Warning signs are usually fairly easy to identify once parents know what they should be looking for.
What are the symptoms of an Internet addiction?
The symptoms of Internet addiction in kids can be puzzling to parents at first sight since it can seem as though the kid has experienced a sudden change in their attitude, mood, and overall demeanor. However, monitoring the kid’s Internet usage and how they react when they can’t use their computer can make the kid’s situation much clearer.
Poor school performance: Frequently this is one of the first signs that parents notice when their kid is having a problem. If a child is too obsessed with using the Internet, then they won’t be able to concentrate on their grades.
Lack of sleep: A kid’s Internet addiction frequently gets in the way of normal sleep habits because the kid will use the Internet to the early hours of the morning before finally being so exhausted he can’t avoid falling asleep.
Problems to focus: Excessive computer usage can cause changes in the brain and impacts the ability to focus.
Withdrawal from family and friends: Internet addicts at times prefer to spend their time surfing the net rather than socializing with friends or with family members.
How can I protect my child from Internet addiction?
At times an Internet addiction program may be necessary for kids who have serious problems. However, you may be able to help your kid if they only exhibit a few addiction symptoms so far.
Talking to your kid: Many kids with an Internet addiction will use their time online to avoid thinking about other problems they have at home or school. Kids with depression distract themselves to avoid sadness and loneliness. In case they are having such problems, they may need your support.
Keep devices with Internet access in common living spaces: Kids who have devices in their own rooms can hide their excessive Internet usage more easily, that’s a good reason to monitor phone activity and also watch usage in other devices. By having the computer or device in the living room, you can control the time your kid spends online while making sure they are not visiting any dangerous websites.
Avoid boredom: If your child is bored, it will make it even harder for you to help your kid curtail their addiction. It is important to get out of your house with your kid and spend time with them as well as encouraging them to find activities outdoors.