When you buy your child a cell phone, you are more or less buying him the access to the entire world.
We know that your consent to buy your children expensive tablets and cell phones is because you cannot stand your children to be the “odd ones out” in society. You subdue your concerns over the dangers of online surfing and social media because you want your children to be competitive citizens.
But, these devices become a threat to the physical and social health of young children who get addicted to their cell phone and the applications downloaded in them. You understand the consequences of this unlimited connectivity to the internet. But making your child understand is a different ball game altogether.
To avoid overwhelming situation, you should take proactive measures and there is an app to know your child is doing on internet without him knowing.
You can play the role of a dictator and cut off all access to the internet and cell phones when you feel things are getting out of control, start imposing curfews which normally end up as a fight between your child and yourself.
And that is the last thing you want to happen.
The second way demands extremely high levels of patience on your part. Befriend them. Engage them in meaningful discussions and hint at solutions. For once, you need to step into the shoes of your child and understand the social pressures from their point of view. Understand that the solution is not you being proved right or your child proved wrong.
And it’s certainly not suitable for parents to snoop on child’s personal messaging accounts or their social media accounts. It’s not a matter of whether it’s ethical or unethical, it’s just not parent like. The moment you child finds out that you have been snooping on his/her personal stuff, they will not only stop trusting you, but they will run towards any alternate source of comfort, the easiest being the internet.
Develop a positive and non-judgmental relationship with your child. Do not confront or play the blame game. Get your child to trust you and get to know the reason why your child is addicted to phone. Give your child his/her space and allow him/her time to open up with you. Do not probe and force things out of them. And once they have confided in you, help them overcome the problem just like their friends will, and avoid passing judgments.
The police officer or the humble friend, the choice is yours.
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