Due to the fascinating nature of electronic devices, it’s very easy for children to become obsessed with many of the tech gizmos available today.
Psychology pundits know this fairly ubiquitous lifestyle issue as ‘Electronics Addiction’.
Beating electronics addiction can be a real challenge for many parents, however the above statement doesn’t wholly imply that one can’t assist their child to use their own time more productively and reduce the time spent on electronic devices.
Although it’s going to be a challenge getting your child to break this obsession, using a few tried and tested tips and techniques there is hope that for them to increase their interaction with the real world, instead of the digital one.
Explained below are some of the methods that will quickly free your children from the grip of electronics addiction.
However, before we get started there are a few things to be mindful of: First, you have to honestly accept what can be an unsettling fact – that your children are hooked to the handset screen or such other equipment.
It’s also crucial that you refrain from trying to force them to quit focusing on these devices using the “tough” interventions that some parents embrace, as these often won’t work.
If anything, these harsher manoeuvres will only push them further into their fascination. Draw your mind back to when you was a child yourself and when being told you couldn’t do or touch something, you only wanted to do it more!
Now, we can move on to the techniques:
1. Replace the Habit with a Positive One
With this highly useful technique, as a parent, you’ll be able to help your child overcome electronics addiction in an incredibly short time period.
The goal here is to carefully & lovingly help them replace the old habit with more personally rewarding activities.
To begin with, it’s imperative to establish the real cause behind your child’s incessant focus on electronics equipment. Therefore, you ought to thoroughly question your child to discover the primary reason they like spending time handling particular e-devices.
Once you find out exactly why they waste precious hours on a mobile phone, for instance, go ahead and establish another more beneficial activity that meets the same unconscious need.
For example, most young individuals get used to electronic devices as a result of idleness and curiosity.
To help meet those same needs in a more positive way you could consider enrolling them into foreign language lessons. This self-improving activity makes them more knowledgeable while satisfying their curiosity at the same time. Plus, it is not physically gruelling to learn a new language so for children who use electronics so that they can sit back and relax, learning a new language requires no additional physical excursion.
Alternatively, you could ask your son or daughter if they admire great sports icons. If they adore a specific sports star, you’re going to have a fairly easy time convincing them to join the local football, tennis, swimming, basketball etc. training facility.
This way, you’ll have successfully broken electronics addiction without appearing bullish or unloving but by redirecting their attention to inactivity that hits all the same hot spots for them.
2. The Swish Pattern
The Swish pattern is a simple yet extremely powerful Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique used effectively by NLP coaches and trainers. It works by helping people of all ages with undesirable habits, clearly establish the cue image that triggers the habitual behaviour in question and replacing it with a more useful desirable image.
So, in our case, once electronics-addicted children discover the causative (images) that motivates the negative obsession with e-gadgets, have them adjust different submodalities (elements of their image) and notice which ones reduce the desire for this habit. For instance, they may find that reducing the brightness and defocusing the picture reduces the desire for the behaviour.
Now ask them to get a picture of a new positive self-image and notice if the desire for this new habit is increased as the submodalities identified previously are changed in the opposite direction. Then, have the child make the cue image (first one) smaller, darker and defocused as the picture of the new positive habit gets bigger, brighter and focused.
Have the child repeat these self-image brightening/dimming processes several times until they fully conquer electronics addiction by responding to cue images more positively.
3. Strictly “No-Electronics” Times
The biggest challenge for kids who have lapsed into the claws of electronics addiction lies in breaking the cyclic continuity of this bad habit.
In order to have your children not waste their free hours on e-devices, have them come up with some consistently routinised activities that take their minds off electronics or the Internet in particular.
Psychologists’ believe that once the main self-same patterns of an addiction are a little severed, it loses its initial potency. As such, getting your children to spend some hours daily out of the captivating world of electronics will gradually weaken this addiction.
This means no Internet and all e-devices switched off for a few hours. As they slowly get acculturated to new activities, they’ll systematically spread their interest and focus across many engagements and in turn eliminate the bad habit often referred to as “monomania” by seasoned behavioural scientists. Your child may not welcome this suggestion, so it’s important to have activities planned that will fill the time in a meaningful way so that you avoid dramatic reactions towards your decision. For younger children it may be possible to reduce any negative reaction by pretending you didn’t cause the Internet failure or power cut and acting just as surprised as they are when their technology fails to work.
If they now have to balance between handling e-devices and tackling other activities such learning a new language, their electronics obsession will reasonably lessen over time.
So, there you have it: 3 special techniques to help combat electronics addiction. Although they might be tailored to suit children depending on certain factors such as age and gender, the principal benefits of the psychological methodologies remain essentially unchanged.
One or a combination of the above ought to produce the desired outcomes in all children battling cyclic electronics obsession.