Iphones,ipads,ipods … Top 10 Tips To Avoid Addiction in Kids

I admit, I’ve given my children smartphones, even my youngest (admitted in a quiet tone). My excuse, well I upgraded and what was I going to do, chuck my old one?

But the clinician part of me is not at ease or the mother part in fact. Harley Street rehab clinic specialist Mandy Saligari stated that apps like Snapchat can be just as addictive as alcohol and drugs. “I always say to people, when you’re giving your kid a tablet or a phone, you’re really giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of coke.”

Admittedly they are not so easy to monitor. Even though my children are in the same room I don’t really know what they are doing on these devices. Regardless of parental control, I must put in place factors such as trust and hope. Trust and hope they are sensible with it.

I’m not advocating children have smartphones. There is enough data now to know that technology addiction is real and ever growing cases in the UK. Alongside cyberbullying, sexting, grooming and the impact of physical health and relationships, there are numerous disturbing effects that come with smartphones.

But it’s here and it’s entered our lives so I must try to deal with it the best way I can. So here are my top 10 tips:

  • Enforcing no screen times (for myself and them!) such as mealtimes.
  • Enforcing no screen areas eg bedrooms.
  • Finding other fun things to do.
  • Educating them on how to use it appropriately.
  • Viewing it as a privilege not a right to have a phone, so misuse will lead to it be taken away.
  • Let them know you are monitoring but rather than being dictatorial about it, let them monitor yours as well! This involves sharing your password and theirs…
  • They need your permission prior to downloading any apps.
  • Make sure parental controls are set up.
  • Reiterate not to post things you would not say to someone face to face.
  • Look out for signs of addiction such as being aggressive or angry when they are not able to use it.

Please do share yours!