Computer addiction in children: reasons and tips for dealing with addiction

Computer addiction in children: reasons and tips for combating addiction - Problems, Education, Interesting

Computer addiction, gaming disorder, cyberaddiction — this phenomenon is called differently, but it means the same thing. When a child spends too much time at the computer, he stops noticing what is happening around. Gadgets, computers, games occupy the first place in his life, reducing the importance of other interests, relationships, daily activities and even personal hygiene.

But do not rush to diagnose your child and take away his computer or phone.

Firstly, computer addiction can be diagnosed if behavioral disorders are observed for 3 months and entail problems in family, social and other areas of life.

Secondly, computer games and the Internet carry not only disadvantages, but also advantages for the development of the child, and it is impossible to completely exclude them from his life.

Therefore, let's first figure out what benefits and harm computers bring, and then we'll find ways to minimize their negative impact on the child.

Read also: Children and TV: tips for parents on how to reduce a child's dependence on TVThe benefits of computer games and the Internet for a child

Computer games develop:reaction, fine motor skills and visual perception of objects;

  • memory, attention, logical thinking, hand-eye coordination, perseverance, the ability to emotionally control yourself;
  • coordinated interaction of different types of thinking — the child must perceive information, reflect, make decisions quickly and perform the necessary actions;
  • skills to classify and generalize, to think analytically in non-standard situations and to achieve goals.

Another useful element of games is socialization.Children also want to take a worthy role in society.

But a child who does not play popular games, as a rule, feels uncomfortable in the company of peers.

Gadgets are also a tool for relieving psychoemotional tension and releasing accumulated aggression.Game reality creates an alternative world — it switches attention and emotional state.

A game character can serve as a very effective tool for transferring emotional tension to a game object.

In addition, games can stimulate the children's brain to produce certain hormones that cause a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. These are both positive emotions and positive self–esteem - something that a child in real life may significantly lack.

If we talk about the availability of Internet access, then this is a prerequisite for socialization. With the help of the Internet, the child gets acquainted with fashion trends, technical innovations and current events. And social networks allow him to present his personality in such a way as to win the respect and trust of his peers.

In addition, the Internet is an opportunity to get the necessary information for training.

For example, you can read a paragraph about cell division in a textbook, or you can watch a video on YouTube. What do you think will be remembered better?

Negative consequences of computer addiction

Computer games, Internet access, communication in social networks benefit the child, help him to learn and socialize, but only in case of limited use. Folk wisdom says: what is too much, it is no longer healthy. It's the same with a computer: if it starts to occupy one of the main places in a child's life, then the benefits turn to harm:

  • My health is deteriorating. The eyes and back are the first to suffer, followed by headache and increased fatigue, then insomnia and tunnel syndrome (pain in the wrist from repetitive actions).
  • Communication skills are declining. Correspondence in social networks and messengers gives you the opportunity to think about the answer, correct mistakes, show off intelligence or replace words with emoticons. In virtual reality, the child feels confident and worthy of respect. But in live communication, when there is no time to think for a long time or correct mistakes, he stumbles, turns pale, talks nonsense, which makes him look stupid and is ridiculed by his peers.
  • Academic performance is falling. When all the time is devoted to games or surfing the Internet, there is neither time nor desire for lessons. At best, the child impatiently spends the allotted time at school and hurries home to the computer, at worst — skips classes, does not do homework, lies to parents about their grades.
  • Relations with parents deteriorate. A call from school about low academic performance and the constant stay of the child at home at the computer — and now parents are screaming shutting off the Internet and taking all the equipment from the child. Such measures do not solve problems, but only lead to quarrels and misunderstanding in the family.

There are quite a lot of negative consequences of computer addiction, and these are just the main ones. The problem is not the consequences, gadgets, games or the Internet.

The problem is in the way of thinking and in the way of life of the child. And it is necessary to correct them first of all, forming a balanced view of the use of technology and the Internet in the child.

But before taking any action, it is necessary to understand why children spend so much time at the computer.

What are children looking for in the virtual world?

Imagine the situation:The boy Vanya , 11-12 years old, lives with his parents in the city of N.

He studies at school quite mediocre, he often has problems with teachers and classmates. In a word, he does not enjoy authority among his peers or teachers. At home, because of this, difficulties arise in communicating with parents who work hard to provide him with a decent life and give him an education.

This is what Vanya has in the real world.

And what does he have in the virtual world?

There he has a status — a level 80 sword or a pumped tank. He leads the clans and defeats the enemy or participates in rallies in world capitals. He's a hero there. They respect him there. There he always has the opportunity to go back to the original and start from the beginning. Winning games allows him to treat himself with due respect and increase self-esteem.

And if we compare what reality and the world of computer games gives Vanya, it is not surprising that he prefers the second option.

Computer addiction in children

This is only one of the possible scenarios, but the conclusion suggests itself — it is not from an interesting and vivid real life that children go into the world of virtual adventures.

Not many parents pay attention to this side of the issue. Therefore, before depriving a child of gadgets and Internet access, you should think about what you can offer in return?

How to explain to a child that it is not worth spending so much time at the computer?

What should I do if a child's interest in a computer turns into an addiction?

Some parents limit the time spent at the equipment to 1-2 hours a day. Others try to switch the child's attention to sports or hobbies. Still others give their child to computer courses, trying to direct his energy to creation and creativity, and not to kill all sorts of monsters. And these are quite effective ways to combat computer addiction.

We offer another option — not to fight computer addiction, but to explain to the child that it is not worth spending so much time at the computer.

How to do it?

In the theory of personal growth, the so—called "Wheel of Life" or "Wheel of Balance" is often used - life is divided into 8-12 spheres, and indicators in each sphere are monitored for a certain period. This simplified model is also suitable for children.

In addition to the pleasure that the child gets at the computer, there are a number of important areas in his life. At least two: health and benefits. Invite the child to look at his life from this position: on the one hand — pleasure, on the other — health and benefits. Ask him how much time he devoted to pleasure today, and how much to health and benefits, and be sure to explain why this is important.

This model is quite simple and helps the child to see something more in his life besides games, gadgets and fun. He begins to think that constant games can affect his future.

To make the conversation as visual as possible, draw a circle, divide it into 3 parts and give names to the sectors. And then ask the child how much time he spent on this or that sector, and put together the necessary marks.

It should be noted right away that the child will close the "pleasure" sector for himself, he knows better what he needs. But with the "benefit" and "health" sectors, adult help is needed. Tell us how diligent study affects further results, what effect reading books has on the development of thinking and imagination, why exercise in the morning is the key to health and why drink 1.5—2 liters of water a day - everything that you consider important and necessary for the full development of the child.

Immediately, this method may not arouse the interest of the child. But if you continue to appeal to him, pay attention to time management — sooner or later it becomes a habit.

And it becomes easier for you to argue why a child should stop playing — you show that there are other important moments in his life.

The "wheel" model does not guarantee that your child will immediately start spending less time at the computer, will seriously take up his health and will do useful things. But thanks to a two-way respectful dialogue, he will be more attentive to your words and advice and will eventually appreciate their benefits.*****

Computer addiction in children is a fairly common problem. Most often, the child plunges into the virtual world in search of vivid impressions, emotions, attention and pleasure. That's why it's hard to fight computer addiction. Shifting the focus of attention from the struggle to the replacement will help to find a way out of the situation — not to take away gadgets from the child, but to offer him a worthy exciting alternative.

August 30th, 2019 2022-11-27 2020-03-26 Rate the article on a 5-point scale Did you like the article? Share it on social networks

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