I am dealing with the screen addiction of my 6-year-old. I need help on how to wean him away. I am a work from home mother living in a busy joint family, and an older 8-year-old boy whi needs help with his studies.
Screen addiction is a concern among several parents today where children are so dependent on screens that they cannot even eat their food without it and parents are facing difficult times trying to take the phone away from them. What you should ensure is that you are taking an active part in this. here is how you can do it:
1. Manage usage of screen You can achieve this by creating a family plan for internet with specific time and limits on content. You can also put-up parental control and privacy setting to the phone which would disable the child to exceed the limit. 2. Review your own screen time We often come across parents who use their phones in front of children which also makes the child end up using it too much. You must review your own screen time and put your phone away when not in use or when you are around kids. Have screen free time during the day and make your children participate in activities along with you to help them get distracted from screen. 3. Use of positive reinforcement When you observe that the child is beginning to follow your set rules, reinforcethe behaviour positively. Using praise and encouragement for their good behaviour encourages them to watch their behaviour. A star chart works very well with younger kids. Reinforce their good behaviour by noting stars on a chart, (which could be displayed for all to see) You can discuss this further with a counsellor.
As you work towards reducing screen time, monitor for signs of problematic use. Some signs to look out for include children constantly complaining, crying, throwing a temper, tantrum and showing oppositional and aggressive behaviour in response to screen-time limits. When you notice such signs, it is advisable to reach out to mental health expert for further guidance.