Digital dependency has become a real problem nowadays that can even be compared to an alcohol or drug addiction. In fact, there are rehabilitation centers for both children and adults that help them get rid of their dependency on technology and internet. Experts describe the withdrawal symptoms that occur during such digital detoxing as being quite similar to those alcoholics and druggies experience when they start to abstain. Fortunately, you can prevent your child from developing a digital dependency if you act early. These tips will help you stop the addiction before it becomes a real problem.
Giving up something addictive is always difficult to do. So, don't make any sudden movements, such as banning your child from using the gadgets. Instead, talk to them and make them understand why you are doing what you are doing. Describe your concerns and the negative effect that digital overuse is having on the child. Social withdrawal, irritability, and problems at school and with friends are signs that virtual reality is interfering with your kid's life. Tell your child that from now on there will be limits to the time they spend online, and don't forget to tell them why. Speak in a calm and sincere tone with loving words, making your child understand that you are limiting online usage because you care about him or her and not as a punishment.
The detoxing transition can be very difficult for your child, so try to do it slowly. Don't limit digital use completely but wean him or her off of it slowly over the course of several weeks. It is a good idea to set a firm schedule to further ease the process. That way, your child will have something to look forward to each day.
Another important step towards your child's detoxing is setting a good example. This means limiting your own use of technology as a sign of support. Instead, the newly discovered free time can be used to do real life things with your child. You can go for walks, play games, talk, and do a million other things. This can become an incredible bonding opportunity for the two of you!
In the majority of cases, parents are able to wean their children off of excessive use of technology single- handedly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you notice that your kid is exhibiting signs of depression or is extremely angry or sad all the time, it is better to get professional help.