Think about how kids used to play outside all day, things have changed drastically in some parts of the world. Kids are now planted in front of computer screens, on social media and playing games. Where do you as a parent draw the line? It has been clinically proven that unsupervised and excessive use of the internet is not only addictive, but can also result in short term memory loss.
There is a difference between normal and compulsive usage, you just need to be on the lookout for the signs. Over the course of a year internet usage can be more and then less, but should overall include other activities. Things like exercise, visiting with friends, any interests that promote healthy kids. There might be an increase in internet use when there is a school project to finish, but these activities are generally short term. Liberty Home is one of several rehab Cape Town that treats a variety of manifestations of internet addiction, including online gaming and online gambling.
The problem becomes serious when a child sits behind a computer screen day in and day out, avoiding everything and everyone else. Not finishing homework, not participating in any sports and focused on their internet world.
To help kids avoid this situation parents should take control, regulate the time spent on the computer or any device on any given day. Ensure that your kids participate in other necessary activities to build strong and healthy bodies. If not regulated, some negative consequences can occur. The child may develop problems such as:
- Obesity: sitting in front of the computer does not help with improving your physical body. The case may be that eating correctly is also a problem making it more likely to develop health issues.
- Insomnia: some people just can’t switch off when they go to bed, being in front of a computer screen makes it even more difficult. This is especially true if online late at night.
- Depression and anxiety: lack of exercise and a neglected social life can lead to depression and anxiety.
So what can parents do to help?
Managing the amount of time a child spends on the computer is important. Considering older kids, maybe allow only about 2 hours of internet time. The time spent on the internet should only be allowed after they have finished homework and done chores.
Move the computer out of the bedroom to remove any further temptation. If internet is an issue try to give access to only one computer that is located in a central area. This way you can keep an eye on them at all times. The child can’t be tempted to use the computer for excessive periods of time. In the event that a loved one is admitted into a rehab for treatment, it is recommended that they spend an adjustment period staying in a home for sober living Cape Town, where they can find their feet.
Think about getting an app. that regulates age appropriate content. There are also parental control software options for the computer, where certain unsavoury sites can be blocked. You can also get software which will lock down all devices and that you can set automatically. This can help in cases where they don’t want to follow the rules and try to sneak in some internet time.
Learn all about the internet
Parents can also educate themselves; make sure they know what can be found online. Know what your child is searching for. Make sure you know how to do things like, go into the search history.
Internet addiction can be a sign of other issues in a child’s life. Internet addiction is just another method used, to escape reality. The internet offers a chance to be somewhere else or someone else in your head. It offers a way to deal with any negative emotions and difficult situations that are happening in the real world.
A parent finding out that internet addiction is a problem for their child, should try to talk to them. Get them to tell you what is bothering them and if the problem is a bit bigger than you can handle, it might be a good idea to seek professional help.