Avoiding Internet Addiction in Children

Rifat Zafreen

11 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Avoiding Internet Addiction in Children

“Timon, why are you still playing on the computer? It has been more than one hour baby”, mother shouts at Timon holding her smart phone chatting with her friends on messenger. Getting back from work Timon’s father also gets busy with phone and internet and advises Timon not to play on computer and use smartphone for so long while he himself remains glued to the internet without playing with or accompanying little Timon!

This situation of Timon is almost common for most of the urban children. No sooner do they get time and opportunity, they quickly sit with their mobile phone other than playing and jumping with their friends and family. Laptop and smartphone have become their best company. Addiction in the internet is an important issue and children’s internet addiction has become a burning question these days, though the internet has made our life comfortable, easy and brought the whole world within our reach.

This is true that it is the demand of time to be tech-savvy, but this is unexpected that our children would become internet addicted. We never want our children to spend their leisure time with a mobile phone or tab.

Parents should play the key role in avoiding internet addiction among their children. If the adults remain busy with the internet and social media most of the time, children also think it is normal to use the internet and thus gradually get addicted to the internet. So, it is necessary for the parents to spend quality time with children after getting back from work. If parents start using devices to put their children into study, it cannot be expected that their children would study attentively. And in this situation it would be normal that children would get up from study and would like to play games on their mobile phone or tab. While children sit to study, parents should sit with them, read books or newspapers or magazines or do other work other than using the internet or social media in front of them. Children will learn from their parents and from the adults and so it is necessary to be their role model. 

In many families, parents give mobile phones or tabs to the children to divert their attention or stop tears or while they get fed up with the children. And no sooner the babies get the mobile phones or tabs, they become very good babies, quiet, soft and gentle. The babies truly know the technique to have things they want. But the parents forget, by doing this they sow the seed of problems since after that, the more the baby grows up, the more it gets stubborn accordingly.

In today’s world though it is hard to find out a perfect solution to this problem, we should try to keep our children away from mobile phones and the internet as much as possible. We can try to shift the bad mood of our babies in another way. Parents and family members can roam them around holding them in their laps, can play with them, can make fun with them or cool down them with any toys other than giving them a mobile phone or tab, if they cry or shout a lot. We have to make our children understand that mobile phones are a useful thing, not a playable thing. We have to limit a certain time to use the internet for our children. They should be understood that their priority should not be playing games over phone or tab or using the internet. Parents can say that after they complete their study and school tasks, they will be allowed to play over phone or use the internet for a certain time.

Adult members of our family need to take our children to the nearby parks and fields for playing. We can buy them toys and new books. This would divert their attention and keep them away from using the internet unnecessarily. Puzzles and creative toys help children be more analytical and sharp. New magazines every month can also help having their reading habits. At the same time it is also true that the internet is not completely bad and harmful for the children, if it is used properly and effectively.

Children should be encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities like sport, dance, songs, art, debate etc. This would help our children have a healthy physic and psyche. Our children are our asset and future of the country. We have to mould their habit, attitude and mind. For that we have to remain very careful and aware about them from the very beginning. At the same time we have to rectify ourselves first and mould our own habits and attitude accordingly as parents are the role models to the children.

Parents should give children quality time. They can go for pillow fights or dancing or reading books to them before going to sleep. So many things can be done for the children to keep them happy, busy and away from the internet and mobile phones. Adults should also remain away from phones and the internet while accompanying their children. This would help them build a strong bond between parents and children.


The writer is a columnist