Half Of Americans Think Their Kids Are Addicted To Technology

Posted: Mar 23 2018, 3:39pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News

 
Half of Americans Think Their Kids Are Addicted to Technology
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A recent study shows a growing concern amount parents that tech is taking over the lives of their kids.

You want your children to have the same things everyone else has. You don’t want your kid to be the one who doesn’t have the newest devices and gaming systems which are now so commonplace.

So we buy the Nintendo DS, the Wii, the Switch and finally, a smartphone. Whatever we get seems outdated months after you learn how to use it. What’s worse is we buy the things, then complain when our children get addicted to them. You might get addicted to them, too.

Parents Are Worried

In a recent survey, 47 percent of parents are concerned their children are addicted to their devices. A third of them say they're addicted themselves. Technology provides us with so much information and entertainment that it’s hard to put our devices down.

Half of the parents admitted being concerned about the unknown effects these devices may have on their children’s mental health. They know that devices can monopolize their time and attention even as adults. Plus, the technology is so new it’s hard to know what lasting effects it will have on our brains.

Parents Should Set Limits

You’re the parent, so you need to take control of the situation and set limits — even for yourself. The funny thing is the technology can help you control the technology. There are plenty of apps to control screen time and Wi-Fi access.

You can see what websites your child visits, how much time they spend on a site or game and you can block access to everything after a certain time. While apps are helpful, they can never replace good parenting. You can’t blame the tech companies for giving us entertaining and resourceful devices. Teaching moderation is your job.

Designate Screen-Free Time and Zones

Talk to your children about their screen time. Ask them what their favorite game is and what they like to use their devices for. Acknowledge how useful and entertaining they are, but also talk about not using them all day long.

Establish some screen-free zones in the house. A no phones or devices at the dinner table rule is an easy one. Devices should also be off limits in the bedroom. Before going to bed, all devices should be rounded up and put away. Many children cannot resist the temptation to turn on their devices in the middle of the night.

Help your child curb their behavior by changing yours as well. It’s too easy to put a misbehaving child in front of the TV or to send them to the basement to play video games when they are getting on your nerves.

Find other things to do as a family. Read books, play board games, make things out of clay or paper mâché. Better yet, get out of the house together.

Get Outside

Look to the outdoors to give your children a screen break. The truth is, your smartphone might have some apps on it that could be helpful for a hike, such as a compass, maps and the ability to provide directions. Even outside, there are a million resources at your fingertips. While that may be so, leave the phones at home. You’ll only end up stopping to check email and answer text messages. Charge their batteries while you recharge yours.

Kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes, by teaching your kids crafts and then using them outdoors. Design and sew a drawstring backpack — they can personalize it with their name or pictures of their favorite movie characters.

Go hiking with the backpack and collect pinecones, rocks, feathers, twigs and other natural items which could be used to make crafts. The hike will give your children an appreciation for the outdoors, as well as fresh air and exercise. It will be quality time spent together without staring at your phones.

Plus, when you get home, you can work on making things with your newly found treasures. This will give your children a chance to express their creativity while spending even less time on their devices.

Engage in Physical Activity

If walking in the woods isn’t much fun for your older kids, join some sports teams or engage in physical activities together. Instead of walking in the woods, jog on nature trails or get on some mountain bikes and explore at a greater speed.

Check with your children’s school or local YMCA to see if they can join a soccer or basketball team. Team sports will give your child exercise and endurance. They will develop another real non-screen interest.

Team sports teach valuable lessons, and they will give your children a chance to interact and compete with other children. They will learn teamwork, discipline and cooperation. They will gain resilience through winning and losing and develop leadership skills. Plus, they will have good old-fashioned fun.

Don’t Let Tech Take over Your Lives

It’s understandable we want to give our children the best of everything, especially if our childhood wasn’t so prosperous. There is always the new best thing or an upgraded model of what you have. But make sure when you give your children access to technology that you aren’t letting it take over their lives. Half of us are worried as it is, so we better start doing something about it.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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