Frequent reaching for the phone and becoming attached to it are behaviors that are more and more often observed among children. If we do not react in time as parents, excessive use of a smartphone can even lead to addiction. This phenomenon even has a name – phonoholism. But what to do when the signs of telephone addiction begin to appear in a child? Is taking a smartphone as a penalty a good idea? Find out what can cause phone addiction in children and how to treat them.
How to recognize a child's addiction to the phone?
There is a fine line between using and abusing a smartphone. After all, this device, apart from calling and sending messages, gives a lot of other possibilities, which is why we reach for them much more often than before. The role of the parents, however, is to notice the moment when this limit is exceeded by the child.
The most common symptoms of telephone addiction in children are:
- constantly using the phone and not parting with it even for a moment,
- checking notifications every now and then, even despite the lack of sound and light signals,
- using the telephone even when there is no such need,
- “turning off” when using the phone, not hearing messages from outside,
- anger, frustration and even aggression when it is not possible to use the phone at the moment,
- irritability and distraction in situations where concentration is required, e.g. during lessons,
- indifference to what you do when you can’t use the phone,
- fear that the phone will run out of power and cannot be used,
- carrying a charger or a power bank with you to be able to recharge your phone at any time,
- attacks of aggression or panic when the phone runs out of power and cannot be charged immediately,
- using the phone during meetings with relatives and peers, instead of focusing on spending time together,
- avoiding direct contact with other people and instead calling, texting or talking on instant messaging,
- spending a few, and in extreme cases even several hours a day in front of the screen.
If your child has most of the above signs, there are many indications that he or she is dependent on the phone and needs your help.
Is cell phone addiction dangerous?
Addiction to the phone, although it may seem like an inconspicuous problem, in fact poses a serious threat to the health of a child, both physical and mental. Adolescence is a time when social skills are developed, and the constant use of a smartphone can disrupt this process.
As a result of addiction to the telephone, the child begins to deteriorate in academic performance and his relationships with relatives deteriorate. He develops extreme emotions with which he is getting worse and worse. There are problems with concentration and concentration, which may be affected by not getting enough sleep due to the use of the phone even at night.
In the advanced form of telephone addiction, physical symptoms may even arise. The most common ones are headache, deterioration of vision and hearing, and constant fatigue.
Cell phone addiction - where to get help?
Parents of children who are addicted to smartphones must first and foremost realize that this is a serious problem that must be dealt with. Unfortunately, nowadays, in the age of the Internet, when the telephone is also used by the child for contacts with teachers and for doing homework, it is difficult to cut them off completely. So it can be hard to find a solution to this problem by yourself. In this case, a child psychologist can help.
Consultation with a psychologist will answer the questions of whether the child is actually addicted to the phone, and if so, how much and to what extent it affects them. If it turns out that the problem is serious, treatment will most likely be needed, but this will be decided by the psychologist at the time of the visit.