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Aida Crooms is an influential lifestyle blogger and social media guru. Aida writes from her heart and is the mother to a teenager.
Jun 09, 2016
If your child has stopped talking and spends most of their time in that familiar pose “face in screen”, you are not alone.
Parents around the world are dealing with the same thing and wondering if they are doing the right thing by allowing their child so much screen time. It begs the question, what if it is more than just a really bad habit? What if it’s more serious….like an addiction?
Here are two alarming quotes from a recent article on CNN.com that made me stop and think.
Are you surprised? Is this how you feel every day? Technology addiction is a serious problem.
Kids are missing precious and pivotal moments that have long-term implications. Experiences with family and friends, time with Grand mom, once in a lifetime experiences, the “chance meeting” with just the right person, trips, important conversations and connections; all are experiences that cannot be replaced or replicated. How many of us can look back on life changing moments that happened because we were in the right place at the right time and opportunities may have passed us by? How many times have you felt an opportunity was lost because someone else was on their device while you were in their presence? Your children may not understand how quickly those times come and go, but you do.
Make a decision to be present instead of distracted by the other things in the room that vie for your attention. It may feel awkward at first, but you may be surprised by the quality of interactions you create with your child.
If things are really bad or you feel ill-equipped, get professional help. There are professionals that can and will help not just your child, but also the whole family as you attack this issue head on. This problem is no laughing matter. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Knowing the difference between something you can deal with on your own and something you can’t is really important. Licensed professionals should be able to help you move ahead faster and they will also have the tools necessary to help make long term changes that stick. Addictions can be cured with the right effort and team behind you.
3. Make connecting in real life a family affair: Try having a family movie night, game night, or heart to heart chats.
Be intentional about creating more connection time. In a way, you are changing the culture of your family by valuing each other over the technology you use. To do this well, you may have to change your actions and activities to support an environment where relationships really matter. Get creative and make it a family affair where everybody has a role and every person’s part is important. In addition, understand what they are looking at and what they get from always being connected. Identifying problems like loneliness, bullying, and depression can be really helpful when you are addressing the issue of technology addiction.
Remember,technology is filing a void. Understanding what is missing can be incredibly helpful as you seek to address this issue. There are things you can do when you understand the root of the problem that will save you tons of time and energy. If you understand that technology is creating a safe place for your child, you can work on creating a safe place in reality instead of the virtual one. The information you get by understanding can make things so much easier and it can also create opportunities that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
One of the biggest challenges with addiction is that you never realize how much it costs you until after you experience it. By addressing this issue head on and taking it seriously you can create a brand new story that will strengthen your whole family. Often the challenges in our lives create the best opportunities if you are willing to take advantage of them. An addiction like this can open up new channels of communication and help you and your family create a much more intentional and meaningful life together.