Could it be too much time for technology to cause unruly behavior or even worse with your child?
An Iowa teenager recently escaped from home when his parents took his cellphone.
As reported by most of the main outlets, the 13-year-old boy was found dead around five days later.
Although no one will know what really caused this child’s death, and some problems can affect his behavior, taking his cellphone is of course a factor that contributes to a fight between a child and his parents.
Today many young people are addicted to their technological devices at an early age. Many parents give their iPad and tablet their children at age 2, some even younger.
Studies are beginning to emerge that show problems related to technology addiction.
Too much time on the device can cause slow development of social skills and lack of communication. This can have long-term physical effects as well as brain development and related problems.
Here are five useful guidelines for reducing technology dependence and promoting healthy conversation.
- Give children blocks and toys that are very young, not devices. The best toys will involve the child’s senses, trigger their imagination and encourage them to interact with others. As they grow, babies can use toys to explore permanent objects and cause and influence relationships. They also need objects such as beams to help build motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
- Parents need to get rid of their devices and set a good example. Community demands can be rude but mothers and fathers need to keep their devices away and talk to their children. Make device free time at dinner and later. Engage with your children by playing board games and other activities that encourage conversation. Work-related messages can always be answered after the children sleep.
- Consider giving your child / teen a flip cellphone rather than a smartphone. Flip phones encourage more conversations, and prevent internet access and application usage. If you have to give your child a telephone because you don’t have a landline, and your child stays at home alone, or you need to pick up your child from school or practice and have to be able to communicate, a flip phone will be enough.
- Maintain a “device boundary” between your child and their friends so as not to dominate their lives. When you schedule playmates, stays, and social events … ask parents what their device policies are and respect. Do not allow your child to take their device to a friend’s house if the family has a device-free policy. If you have to contact your child, get a parent’s telephone number to contact your child.
- Learn how to limit screen time and block content. If you have concerns about technology, but don’t get to the point where you feel it must be removed together, educate yourself about the best products on the market to block content, enforce screen deadlines, etc., and Bark.