Every parent may face a situation when a child starts to spend time watching TV or playing on the computer more than communicating with parents, friends, or reading books. As a parent, you probably want to restore the former harmony. Below, we will address the main issues and approaches that parents may find useful in maintaining efficient communication. This is the method I used in my family to determine how and why my children were addicted to TV and computers.
Due to my own experience as the parent of two children, I know that it is better to act according to the following plan in order to improve the situation. First, determine what exactly causes your anxiety. Perhaps the fact that:
- a kid spends most of the time in front of the TV or computer?
- you are afraid that your son’s or daughter’s eyesight will deteriorate?
- he or she does not listen to you, and you have no authority?
- the child’s school grades have recently decreased?
- a teenager communicate with no one and lives a “virtual life” more than the real one?
- he or she has ceased to fulfill house chores that were their responsibility for a long time?
- the child’s behaviour has changed rapidly in a negative way, the kid is passive or aggressive, especially after using the technologies?
When Did This Happen?
Second, you need to estimate approximately when exactly it happened. Ask yourself if there were any significant events in your life that may have caused such issues. For example:
- There are new people in your house?
- Your son or daughter started attending a new school or any educational group?
- You have humiliated the kid, or somebody else did that in front of you?
- You have yourself asked the kid to entertain themselves watching TV or playing the computer, because you are busy and cannot pay attention to the kid’s needs?
This will help you determine whether the new behavior was caused by certain external events, or if there were other contributing factors that caused the child to become addicted to the technology.
What Should You Do Now?
If you believe that changes in behavior have been caused by addiction to and abuse of technologies, start paying more attention to your children in the first place. Check what your children watch or what games they play. Perhaps your kid does not access any forbidden content and tries to use technologies for education and entertainment, but anyways became a victim of it despite his or her will. So be tactful and try to figure it out.
If you happen to conclude that the behavior change in your child was caused by a certain objective event like an insult, please mind that technology abuse may be the consequence of it, as the child may look for a virtual world to hide from the real one. Here, you have to be wise and tactful as well. Whatever the reason, parents will have to establish contact with the child and find some common ground. In my family, we are spending all the possible time together with children and enjoy shared hobbies. In any case, please remember that you as an adult are much more experienced in communication, and the initiative should be fully yours.
I am happy to be the expert on security issues connected to family and children. Still, if after reading these tips and advice, you think it will be challenging to keep children away from the computer, you can read a guide to protecting children’s privacy online to secure your kids!