Growing up in a generation surrounded by technology has had both positive and negative effects on society and particularly on children and teenagers. On the plus side, technology and social media are often great for communication and can even be really good at educating children more, especially as it encourages them to get more involved with debates and discussions. However, social media is also very addictive and it can be hard to get your children to stay away from it once they begin using it. It is pretty normal for most children to go through this phase, but it is not a healthy habit and it should be broken down as much as possible.
As a parent, if you feel as though your child is getting addicted to social media, this article has a few handy tips to help.
Teach Them to Focus on Specific Tasks
One negative impact of social media is that it is often bad for children’s attention spans. This is because they become constantly used to seeing new information being put on social media every second of the day, and you can scroll and scroll for hours and remain entertained. This creates a harmful situation whereby children don’t want to be missing out on what is happening online, so they will find it harder to focus on real-life tasks. It is essential for both their school and social lives that they know the importance of concentration. Take a look at these tips on how to stay focused and how to retain this skill.
Try and Encourage Them to Take Up a Sport
One great way to stop your children from getting too addicted to social media is by encouraging other activities, such as taking up a sport. If your child is socializing in real life, they will feel less need to gain validation or company from online friends, as they will have close bonds with people in real-life settings.
Taking up a sport which they are committed to and want to get better at is also great for their motivation levels as it is really healthy to have a goal that you are constantly working towards. Firstly, you should ask them what sport they’d like to do, but you should also think outside the box. Let them try a range of sports — both solo and team — so they get a good idea of what they enjoy.
Limit Their Phone Usage
Limiting phone usage is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your child doesn’t get too addicted to social media. However, you need to be smart about how you do this. By putting really strict limitations on your children, this can often lead to infuriation and them wanting to rebel, so it is really important to find a healthy balance.
If your child always has the latest technology, this will also encourage them to use social media more often, so don’t feel pressured into buying them new phones all of the time.
Engage with Them Personally on a Daily Basis
If you are limiting your child’s social media usage, this is great, but you also need to supplement the time they spend on social media with other fun activities. If you don’t engage with your children, they will inevitably turn to online platforms for conversations and entertainment, so it is really important that you help them feel as though they have enough support and engagement in real life that they don’t need a huge reliance on social media. T
his can include talking to them about social and school-related issues and keeping up with what is going on in their life.
Buy Some Board Games for the House
Buying board games for the house is a great form of entertainment, and the more physical entertainment you have, the less tempted your children will be to turn to their phones. Often, people don’t even enjoy using their phones that much, but they end up on them due to sheer boredom. Therefore, if you manage to combat the boredom, it will be far less likely that your children will be addicted to social media. A few good games to start out with are Scrabble and Monopoly, as well as some more luck-based games such as Frustration.
Social media is not all bad, but if you use it too much it can lead to the development of unhealthy habits. When children have access to social media, they are very easily influenced and it can be hard to know exactly what they are doing when they’re on their phones. To feel more involved in your child’s life, make sure there is active engagement and distraction from the online world, which will really benefit them in the long term.