Digital addiction or excessive use of screens is a growing concern among children. It can lead to a negative impact on physical and mental health, as well as social and emotional well-being. As a parent, it is important to take steps to help your kids develop healthy habits and find a balance with technology. To support their children in overcoming digital addiction and fostering healthy technology habits, parents can implement several strategies. By considering some important tips parents can assist their kids in finding balance and steering clear of the negative effects of the overuse of screens. (Also read: Screen time and children: When to introduce it and how much is appropriate )
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Sapna Bangar, Psychiatrist and Head, Mpower- The Centre, shared some useful tips for parents to help detoxify digital addiction among kids.
1. Set limits on screen time
● Establishing clear rules and boundaries around screen time is an important step in helping your kids develop healthy habits and avoid digital addiction. This could involve setting limits on the amount of time your kids can spend using screens each day or week, as well as establishing rules for when screens can be used e.g., not during meals or before bed.
● Using parental controls can also be helpful in enforcing these limits and ensuring that your kids are not accessing inappropriate content. Ensure that the appropriate amount of screen time may vary depending on your child’s age, so be sure to consider age-appropriate guidelines when setting limits.
2. Model healthy behaviour
As a parent, it is pertinent to model the behaviour you want to see in your kids. This includes setting limits on your own screen time and finding ways to unplug and disconnect from screens. By educating your kids about the risks of digital addiction, you can help them understand the importance of developing healthy habits and finding a balance with technology.
3. Create screen-free zones
Designate certain areas of your home, such as the bedroom or dining room, as screen-free zones. This can help your kids disconnect from screens and engage in other activities.
4. Encourage a balance of activities
● Encouraging your kids to engage in a variety of activities, both online and offline, can help them find balance and avoid becoming overly reliant on screens. This could include hobbies, sports, and other physical activities that get them moving and allow them to engage in real-world experiences.
● It is also significant to encourage your kids to socialize with friends and family in person, as this can help them develop important social skills and build strong relationships.
● Encouraging a balance of activities can help your kids develop a well-round ed lifestyle and avoid becoming too focused on screens and technology.
5. Educate your kids about the risks of digital addiction
Talk to your kids about the risks of excessive screen use and the importance of finding a balance. Help them understand the potential negative impacts on their mental and physical health, as well as their relationships and overall well-being.