The way we interact with each other has affected teenage lifestyles the most.
- Your teen may seem to spend hours on phone, texting, talking or simply playing.
- Adolescents addicted to the internet tend to have fewer friends and a less active social life. They lead solitary lives and are happy browsing the internet for hours. (2)
- Addiction to cyberspace also cuts short their physical activities, resulting in an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle.
- Internet addiction adversely impacts academic performance.
- Do not assume that your child is addicted to the internet just because he or she spends a lot of time in front of the computer. They could be doing more productive things on the system other than surfing the net.
- Do not say ‘no’ to the Internet. That will only make them adamant. Instead, talk about your concerns and help them work on other things that do not require a computer.
- You could use parental controls, but that may not be taken well by your teen – remember that they are not kids anymore. At the same time, they may also not have the judgment to make the right choices. So guide them as a parent, but never decide for them.
- Enroll them in activities that encourage them to interact with others. Have family activities that will make them want to spend less time at the computer.
- Have some cyber rules and boundaries for everybody at home. Limit the use of the mobile phone to a few hours in a day, and avoid bringing the phone to the bedroom as it is likely to affect a person’s sleep.
How do you deal with this problem? Please give us some suggestions.
Oliver & Kim