Internet Addiction : Parents Beware! Are Your Kids Addicted To The Internet ?

internet addiction What is Internet Addiction?

Internet addiction can be described as a strong desire to be online. This unfortunately gets in the way of day-to-day activities such as socializing with friends or family, playing outside, doing schoolwork, and even sleeping. Internet addiction is becoming a growing problem for kids around the world.

How can you identify internet addiction?

If the first thing your child does when he gets home,  is turn on the computer, check email, or surf the web or find excuses for his time online; if he rather have online friends than real  friends,or if hey feels the urge to stay online for few more minutes, which is never a few minutes , then your child has a serious case of cyber addiction!

internet addiction

internet addiction

 

Who is responsible for kids with internet addiction?

Everywhere you go, most places you go to have free WiFi. During lunch time at school, instead of kids interacting with each other, they’re either on their smartphones; surfing the web, or playing games. If we as a society do not address these problems by limiting the time our kids spend online, internet addiction might become a major clinical disorder  in the near future. Parents,schools and pediatricians will have to work together to keep this issue under control.

How does internet addiction affect your child?

A child who is addicted to the Internet tends to have mood swings, trouble at school, falling grades, arguments over Internet usage, loss of interest in friends and other activities, and possible obesity due to lack of exercise while on the computer. Various studies have shown associations between Internet addiction and mental health problems, such as depression and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents. One physical condition that can occur from    Internet and/or computer addiction is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (pain and numbness in hands and wrists). Other conditions include dry eyes or strained vision, backache and neck aches, severe headaches, sleep disturbances, and pronounced weight gain or weight loss.

Are some children more susceptible then others as far as cyber addiction is concerned?

Yes, some children are more prone to this addiction than others; particularly the ones that suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, lack of social support, unhappiness, or are less socially active than others.

 

So what is the cure for a child who is addicted to Internet?

Though it is impractical to tell a child not to use the Internet, there are some techniques that we as parents can implement. First and foremost, children model their parents’ behavior. As parents, we have to realize that we use the Internet as an escapism from our problems. We need to spend more time talking with our kids. Suggest an alternative, because most of the time kids will be online because they think there is nothing else to do. The key is to balance both Internet use and other activities equally. Others techniques that can be used are:

1) A good place for a computer is a shared family room. NEVER in a child’s bedroom.

2) If your child is spending too much time on the internet, ask yourself it is affecting his or her school performance, health, and relationships with family and friends.
3) Never ban the Internet, as it is an important part of most children’s social lives. Instead, establish reasonable rules about where your children can go online and what they can do there, and stick to them. Some sample scenarios might include: an Internet time limit, and no surfing and/or chatting until they have completed their homework.

There is a computer software that can help kids to limit the amount of time spent online: http://kids.getnetwise.org/tools/timelimits
• Encourage and talk to your child about his/her participation in other physical activities, and to socialize offline with other children.

• Talking to your child’s school counselor will also help as they may be able to provide the necessary support for your child.

Sources:

Internet addiction

Image source: Leonardo Augusto Matsuda via Compfight

 

 

 

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