More and more teens are becoming addicted to their cellphones at the expense of real relationships. Many parents are asking how to deal with their teens cellphone addiction. Too often today’s adolescents are using technology and the internet to avoid dealing with life’s issues. While the definition of cell phone addiction can be debated, a simple red flag that your child may be experiencing addiction to his or her cellphone are some of the following:
- Inability to succeed in school because of a lack of concentration
- Harmed or lost relationships as a result of miscommunication via cellphone
- Personal hygiene, and physical habits become secondary to attention given to technology
Preventing cell phone addiction in your teen
According to a recent study, 60% of teens would feel anxious if they didn’t have their phone and would rather live without Facebook, chocolate, and TV than without their phone. To ensure that your child does not become addicted to their cell phone here are some tips for parents to help prevent cell phone addiction.
Respect Conversations With Others: Texting smart phone use shouldn’t come between real human contact, thus being distracted by a cell phone can harm relationships.
Never use the phone in the car, especially while driving whether texting or talking: This is a given, but distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths on the roadway. If your teen learns not to use the phone in the car, a lot of tragedy can be avoided.
Learn To Recognize Bad Habits: One reason teens turn to cell phones is boredom, causing this behavior to become a habit. Teens must learn other ways of dealing with boredom beyond turning to technology. Realizing this can help your teen resist checking their phone out of habit.
Set Alerts to Monitor Phone Usage: These days, most phone carriers will allow you to monitor text, phone time, and data usage for all the phones attached to your account via mobile apps and text / email alerts. You should take advantage of all this data and keep an eye on your teen’s usage. Use this as a baseline to establish ground rules, and talk to them if their usage seems excessive.
Consider Pre-Paid Phones instead of complete loss of phone privileges: For chronic offenders of this, you could consider using a pre-paid plan instead of instituting outright phone prohibition. That way your teen still gets the opportunity to exercise discipline and learn to ration their phone usage. And if they fail to do this, the phone will become a useless brick until you choose to add more time and data. Thus, a logical set of consequences will result from their overusing the phone.