The world that we live in has a great technological superiority as compared to the older generations. With everything now just a tap away on the smartphone, it is definitely a huge advantage for the kids growing up with all the technical gadgets and devices to help them learn and grow. However, not all is bright about this aspect and with a greater power there is a need for a greater responsibility which is often absent in children. They often fall prey to addictive traits towards their electronic gadgets and you must be on the lookout for the warning signs to these.
Some signs of screen time addiction in your child
No control over the usage:
It is normal to notice compulsive behavior in children but if you see that he is losing control over the time he allots to his gadgets, you can be certain that he is being addicted to excessive screen time. This will reflect in his sleeping pattern which will be disrupted as well from all the time spent on screen. If someone tries to stop or affect his screen time it will usually lead to a stiff opposition from their part and this is one of the prominent signs of screen time addiction in your child.
Loss of interest in other activities:
It is very normal for a child to be interested in a lot of activities other than just sitting and fidgeting with his smart phone. If you are worried about what to do to identify the addiction, look out for their lack of interest in all the other activities of the house. They will be unwilling to go out and play or even to participate in indoor games which do not involve their smart phone. This is a smart way of nabbing screen time addiction in your child.
Their thoughts are preoccupied:
This is another tell tale signs of your child being addicted to her gadgets. In such circumstances, her thoughts would always be preoccupied with what she has done or played while enjoying her screen time. For instance, even when she is not using the gadget or is not watching a video on YouTube, she would keep talking about some game or how she loved some video and would like to watch a few more like that. While a one off incident cannot be cited as being addicted to technology, too many repetitions of such behavior mean that there is screen time addiction in your child.
Bad at socializing:
If there is screen time addiction in your child, chances are high that their socializing skills would suffer badly as a result. If you see that your kid struggles to make small talk at parties and even while interacting with relatives always tends to have a sneak peek at their gadgets, it is time to ring the alarm bells. While compulsive behavior in children is pretty normal it is not normal for a kid to have such poor social skills.
Shows some signs of withdrawal:
All addictions come with withdrawal symptoms and being addicted to technology is not any different. You will see for instance that when your kid is stopped from having her own screen time as per her demands, she will get frustrated. It may result in mood swings in your child, anger or simply she may be reduced to tears because of her dependence on the screen time. This can be an easy way to find out if she is actually addicted to screen time or not.
Psychologists seem to agree that those kids who have an excess amount of screen time usually suffer from behavioral problems. These behavior issues stem from anything like being prohibited for one day or simply because of certain mood swings. If you notice that suddenly your child is being ill behaved you need to investigate more on this matter as it may be a case of screen time addiction in your child.
They are deceptive regarding this:
Usually an addict knows that their addiction is bad. So unless your kid is not too young he probably knows that screen time addiction will not get him praises from you. So to make up for it you will often find him lying about his screen time and trying to play it down. You may have instances where they sneak in their gadgets to bed and are engrossed in it way past their bedtime. Be careful to spot such changes in your child so that you can take actions immediately.
They have an increase in tolerance:
This means that their pattern of screen time is increasing on a regular basis. The same girl who would previously be tired and go to sleep after 30 minutes of videos now is willing to stretch it to an hour and even wants to play some games after that. This shows that their tolerance is on the rise, which is a symbol of the fact that there may be a case of screen time addiction in your child.
The screen time boosts their mood:
It may be a case of a bad day at school or simply a bad scolding from his mother. But no matter what seems to be the case, if your kid seeks happiness through screen time and it immediately makes him happy, be on the lookout for other signs. If it is a mood booster for them chances are that they are addicted to their gadgets.
Your child is your and lacks the awareness to how bad the screen time addiction can be for them. If your child is addicted to technology it can prove to be disastrous for them in their later lives and will affect their performance as well. So, make sure you help them engage in some other fruitful activities.