I can still remember the time when we parents were grateful and happy that we had Internet access finally, and that our children were about to become internet savvy!
We had dreams of our children becoming knowledgeable about everything there was to know, and we also thought that this would be a new way of keeping our children busy and engaged for long periods of time, away from outside dangers.
Little did we realize that our children would discover the internet in ways that we had not thought of, and that soon enough, they would become seriously addicted to the internet and on going online and chatting with friends, playing multi user games, entering pornographic sites and so on.
Today, most of us parents find it greatly difficult to balance our children’s online activities and their homework and studies and other extra curricular activities.
It is a fact that children and young adults can often become completely addicted to the internet and the wide possibilities that the internet would bring.
These are some of the psychological symptoms of internet addiction: euphoria at being online, an inability to stop the activity, lying to the family about chatting with strangers, and so on.
How does one go about avoiding such an addiction?
- As a responsible parent, you must sit down and ask yourself: how is your child being affected by the internet. Does he suffer from psychological or physical symptoms? Are his studies getting adversely affected? Is he becoming uncommunicative at home? Are his relationships at home getting affected?
- Do you think he may need counseling to help him get over his addiction? If so, don’t delay, act immediately. Experts state that internet addiction may be symptomatic of deeper lying psychological problems such as low self esteem or depression.
- Are you sure that you are not addicted to the internet yourself? Remember; you are the most important role model for your child, and you need to be free of addiction before you advise your child to do so.
- Set limits on your child’s internet usage everyday, and make sure that you enforce them, no matter what. Children must know how to follow a given set of rules, and they will be more disciplined than their peers.
- Make sure that the computer is kept in a public place.
- Try to enroll and engage your child in outdoor activities, so that he starts to lose interest in sitting in one place staring at the computer screen.
With patience and initiative, you will be able to cure your child of his internet addiction.