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Signs Of Screen Addiction In Kids


Oct. 29, 2020

Screen addiction has become a serious issue in Gen Z kids , with more and more kids falling in the trap every day. Being on the screen in today's world has become somewhat involuntary. There are times when your kid cannot avoid spending time on the screen . One such example is online schooling and assignments.
The pandemic has only added to your kid's screen time . However, the time spent on the screen does not stop here for your kids. The time spent on the screen when it's not essential is what causes problems.
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Social media apps, movies, games all add up to increasing your child's time on the screen. At times, you as well might be spending equal, or even more, time on the screen, so your child's screen usage might not bother you much.
However, it does not take time for excessive screen usage to turn into an addiction. Kids are especially vulnerable towards it and can easily fall prey to this addiction . While it may seem trivial, there are some serious consequences that it can cause to your child, physically and mentally. These signs will help you determine if your kid is actually addicted to the screen or not.
Your Child Looks at the Screen Involuntarily
Apart from online lectures and assignments, there might be times when your child spends hours on the screen . Well, there might not be a particular reason for them to strain their eyes as much. The content on the screen captivates your child so much that the action becomes involuntary after a point. Their subconscious brain controls their actions.
Even in their leisure, they might sit in front of the screen rather than doing any other activity. The screen can vary from computer to phone, to television. If you see your kid sitting and facing the screen even when they do not have to, they might have fallen prey to this addiction. Although most of the time, the damage is not so much that it cannot be undone. In such a case, you shall always encourage your child to indulge in off-screen activities. Once they have a habit of doing something regularly off the screen, the addiction is eventually mitigated.
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Your Child Does Not Socialize Much
Amongst the others, the one good thing about children is that they do not have to make efforts to socialize. Kids merely have to banter what they feel like or play games together, and before long, they are best of buddies. This, though, might seem like an old tale. Kids these days have issues while socializing and cannot do it very well. While there can be other reasons for this, one reason can be screen addiction.
If your child goes to a birthday party with their phone in hand, it might compel them to be on their phone rather than go around and explore things. You might have seen children playing games on a screen in the midst of a social event. If you observe your child doing the same at the next birthday party or family gathering, you might want to pay heed to it rather than neglecting it. You can counter this by restricting your child to carry their phones or giving them your phones while at a social event. This will naturally drive to explore things around, and unknowingly, they will become better at socializing in the process.
Your Child's Mood is Uplifted While Being on the Screen:
There might be days when your child did not have the greatest day at school, or they just lost a game. After that, when they come home and laze around on the couch watching TV or playing a video game , you might want to observe how they react to it. If the content on the screen instantly uplifts your child's mood, it might be a red flag. While it is good that your little one is no longer in a foul mood, the medium they chose to uplift themselves might not be the greatest one.
It might be alright if it seldom happens. But if your child always seeks comfort behind the screen whenever something goes wrong, then it shall worry you. A screen shall not release dopamine in your child's head to comfort them. This might be an early sign of screen addiction and can lead to many problems. Anxiety , low tolerance, and anger issues are a few to name. The next time you see them worried or morose, try talking with them to not let your child go there. Your child might not open up instantly, but eventually, they will, and they will turn to humans in troublesome times rather than screens.
Sarah Domoff, a researcher and lead author at Michigan University, said in an article "Typically, researchers and clinicians quantify or consider the amount of screen time as of paramount importance in determining what is normal or not normal or healthy or unhealthy. Our study has demonstrated that there is more to it than the number of hours. What matters most is whether screen use causes problems in other areas of life or has become an all-consuming activity.”
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Your Child is Not Very Keen About Other Things
Your child may have been good at playing the piano . He must have made good progress with the keys, but suddenly, he does not play it anymore due to that new TV show. Well, this is not always a result of increased screen time. Your child might finish that show and get back to other activities. But if they don't, and instead explore other content on the screen, then other, then in no time, it leads to, if it hasn't occurred already, screen addiction.
If your child eventually loses interest and is not as keen about things behind which they used to spend their entire day, it should concern you. Your child might find sitting on the couch and enjoying that TV show or playing that game more appealing than actually doing any physical activity. This can lead to depression, lack of self-esteem, or even self-loathing in some cases. To avoid this, limit your child's screen time. Keep it only a little more than what is essential. Your child might be reluctant and might even argue, but it will only benefit them once that barrier is broken.
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Screen addiction seemed like an absurd concept back in the day. Now though, millions of kids are falling prey to this addiction each year. The addiction, unlike any other addiction, affects the mental and the physical state of your child. The last thing you would want in your child's growing years is coping and dealing with addiction.
Though it can be revoked with not much effort, you shall be aware of the time that your child spends on the screen. One thing that you can do is avoid giving personal phones to your children until they come of age. However, in the case that you have to, be sure to keep a tab of the usage and limit it once it goes beyond a particular span.
Sources: Medium , Todays Parent , Independent
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