Half of teens struggle from phone addiction and the same percentage of parents acknowledge it, a new study has found.
Almost 30 percent of teens also think that their parents themselves are addicted to their phones.
As society has witnessed drastic changes in how technology and media are being used, people have incorporated mobile devices in their daily lives now, more than ever. The new poll from Common Sense Media is an evidence of that.
Aside from the numbers, the report also includes tips to address this growing issue. They key is to find balance and to use social media and mobile devices responsibly. Here is how parents can help:
Set Limits In Phone Usage
Parents cannot just take gadgets away from their children in the hopes of addressing the problem. What they can do is to set screen times and technology-free zones.
The rules depend on the family. Some may opt to establish simple limits such as putting mobile phones away during meal times. Others may choose to set more specific rules with absolutely no screen time after 9:00 p.m. on school days and after 10:00 p.m. on weekends.
Check The Apps The Children Are Using
Parents should check what apps teens in the family are hooked into. They should specifically look at ratings and reviews of the app. Make sure they are age-appropriate, enriching, and beneficial for the entire family.
There are apps that foster creativity, good family bonding time, and new discoveries. Parents should encourage their children to be creative and responsible tech users rather than just passive app subscribers.
Parents should interact with their kids while using mobile gadgets and apps. They should support their kids' learning, helping them to explore what they read, see and play. It would also help if parents guide their kids on how to question and consider media messages, in effect enhancing their understanding of media's role in the society.
Show The Impacts of Multitasking
The study found that teens do not think that multitasking has effects on their homework's quality.
Parents should know that it is important for their children to focus on one task at a time as this is beneficial in both youngsters' interpersonal skills and academic performance. They should therefore foster an environment with minimal distractions where children stay away from all forms of social media while doing homework or when engaging in a conversation.
Set An Example
Parents should start with themselves. They could start by putting down phones at meal times, while driving, or during family bonding sessions. They should demonstrate to the kids the values that they want to instill inside the home.
"Kids will be more open and willing participants when the house rules apply to you, too," the authors wrote.
Seek For Professional Help
In cases when parents notice that the use of mobile phones is already distracting their kids' academic performance, behavior, and mental health, and that they cannot handle it alone anymore, it is best to consult a pediatrician or psychologist for professional help.