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Bringing Technology Addiction Among Youth Under Parental Control
The Technological explosion of the 21st century has been one of the most outstanding and increasingly prevalent situations in the history of human innovation. Computer technology, smartphones, video games, social media networks, automation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and countless others new and improved mechanisms are proof that human intelligence has increased.
However, when technology becomes an obsession, it can become dangerous.
Engagement with today’s technology is a 24/7 addiction among the teens of our times. Social media takes center stage. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other networks have seized the consciousness of our youth and made them slaves to the gods of tech.
According to Kimberly Young, director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, “compulsions to use technology in favor of rare and exciting life events, such as parties or vacations, might signify addiction.”
The signs of addiction are obvious. You know it when:
- Silent George sits in the corner all day with an iPad instead of going out to play with others for a picnic along with fun and games in the courtyard.
- John plays endlessly on the computer, neglecting his chores for 5 days in a row, even after his mother threatens him with grounding.
- Sophia attempts to juggle two smartphones conversations while walking off the sidewalk into open traffic, often.
- Louise can’t stop texting while driving, even though she has almost crashed the car on multiple occasions.
- JoAnn gets infuriated with the teacher daily when her smartphone is taken away due to the neglect of her seat work.
- Jack didn’t finish his homework all week long because of his addiction to Xbox.
- Max stuffs an iPod into his giant coat pocket and runs out of the store, setting off the security alarm.
The need for reform is clear. Something needs to be done to prevent the livelihood of our youth from being destroyed by technological temptations surrounding them.
Young states that “attitude changes in your teen might be cause for alarm; sudden depression, loss of self-esteem, and problems paying attention are symptoms of Internet addiction.”
The bottom line is that structure must be instilled by into the lives of our youth if we are going to save them from the technological traps in which they have fallen. Without such attempt to declare war against the addiction, the habits and routines of teens will not work in their best interest when it comes to becoming more responsible for their lives and affairs.
What to Do When Your Child is Addicted to Technology?
As loving and caring parents, we are the only ones who can help bring addiction among youth under control, so we must not hide from the situation. We must confront it if we want our children to be accountable for the success of their future.
Your Child & Technology
Do You Have Your Child's Technological Obsession Under Control?
Prepare for battle
Getting our children away from their gods and reestablishing structure in their lives will not be easy due to the intensity of the technological addiction. Other than attacking you, children will resist your attempt to take away their obsession in every way possible.
You can prepare yourself in three ways, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Emotionally you must remain calm always when confronting your teenage son or daughter. Yelling and threatening do little in seeking change in a child obsessed with technology.
Mentally, you must be prepared to answer all the whys you’ll get when you attempt to persuade your teen about the dangers of his or her negative habits. The inability to present a good argument will only result in a frustrated effort but will also lead to situational discouragement.
Physically, you must be prepared for the energy it will take to constantly redirect teens from making unwise choices. Many times, they will not want to put down the smartphone or shut down the computer for the more important things in life, such as future goals in preparation for adulthood.
Take a Balanced, Crafty, Gentle Approach
Before you get serious about guiding your teen toward a more structured lifestyle, you need to be more balanced in your approach. If you are dealing with a teenage daughter take her out shopping for a favorite piece of clothing she likes. Have lunch together as well. During that time, you can tell them how you feel about their addiction and what you will like to see them do more of.
When you mix kindness with the goal of rescuing them from their addiction, you will go a long way in convincing them to listen to you. The goal is to not constantly pound them with the complaint that they should rid themselves of their obsession.
If you are a father, take your son on a fishing trip or to a sports game. Better yet, whatever will take your son’s attention from his addiction, do it often. Sure, it may be a sacrifice on your part, but such gesture will go a long way in convincing your son that your argument against his addiction is serious. Let your son know that you care while at the sometime showing him that there are other aspects of life that are more significant than staying in the room playing video games all day.
Bringing technology addiction under control among youth starts with us parents. We can just storm into our sons and daughters room and take away their technology, but it will be defeating the purpose, especially if we desire to become responsible enough to take care of the situation themselves. That is the goal: to teach youth how to make responsible choices for their lives, well-being, and future.
If we as a parent can take the initiative and do what we must, regardless of the sacrifice, we will go a long way in producing a focused and thoughtful generation which will refuse to be controlled by the creative gods of their own hands.