What Teen Phone Addiction Looks Like & How Parents Can Monitor Phone to Help
The current teenage generation has grown up on screens. From TVs and computers to laptops and smartphones, all of their personal and academic activities happen on digital devices. This is why parenting teenagers has become an uphill task for modern-day parents. Many are concerned about whether their teens have become phone addicted and how it will affect their education and personal growth.
It should be kept in mind that while all teenagers spend most of their time on phones, it does not necessarily mean they have an addiction. It is when they start to develop an unhealthy infatuation with their devices that severely impacts their academic and personal life. There are some warning signs that indicate that your child is falling into the trap of phone addiction. This is when you should start to monitor the phone to ensure your teen’s safety.
Warning Signs of Phone Addiction
If your teen is addicted to their smartphone, they will really struggle to stay away from their devices. It will become almost impossible for them to remain separated from their phone for even an hour, and they will show signs of withdrawal as if they are incapable of living without it. This withdrawal can have a severe emotional and psychological impact, so you need to intervene as a parent.
Eat & Sleep Disorders
In some extreme phone addiction cases, teens even begin to take essentials for granted, such as maintaining a proper diet and getting sufficient sleep. It can lead to weight loss as well as insomnia, along with adverse shifts in sleep cycles. If your teen has been experiencing any of that, it is time for you to take matters in your own hands.
Anxiety & Fear of Missing Out
One of the major underlying causes of smartphone addiction is the fear of missing out. Teens like to be on edge and want to know what is trending. That’s why living without digital devices for them becomes very challenging as they are scared of missing out on the latest developments and trends. This can also result in increased anxiety and irritable behavior.
If your child has always been an introvert, then this may not be a warning sign. However, if they used to have a social life outside of screens but recently they have grown distant and isolated, this could be a sign of phone addiction. Whether you have to learn monitor snapchat without jailbreak or monitor their digital activity in any other way, you need to identify the reason for this shift in behavior.
How Can Parents Help their Phone Addicted Teens?
Unless the situation has gone out of hands, it is recommended that you shouldn’t use heavy-handed methods that are more likely to evoke their rebellious sentiment. Instead, you should be understanding and subtle in your approach. Here are a few proven methods that work.
Monitor Phone – One of the most popular methods used by parents all over the globe is smartphone-monitoring solutions. These spy apps allow you to track your teen’s phone activity, including incoming and outgoing calls, texts, and instant messages. Moreover, you can also monitor their current location in real-time along with media present on the phone storage and their browsing history. This enables you to obtain any information right away if your teen has landed themselves in trouble.
Have a Talk about Responsible Use of Phone – This is usually something that most parents do but get it wrong because they come across as controlling. When we say talk to your child, it means to speak with them as a friend. Let them know they still have control over their personal life, but also tell them about the difference between responsible and irresponsible choices. If possible, tempt them with an incentive they would love to make them listen.
Encourage Family Time & Social Activities – Many parents are too preoccupied with their professional lives. They have little to no time for effective parenting. This is one of the reasons why teens often get attached to their devices because it provides them with a multitude of media to share their emotions and feelings. Encouraging and regularly scheduling family time, picnics, parties, and other social activities will reduce your teen’s dependence on digital validation.
Get Help from a Psychologist – If the situation has gone completely out of hand and your teen cannot seem to live without their phone, it is time to get professional medical help. It is a difficult decision to make for any parent, but it makes for a better choice in the long run.
Parenting modern teenagers is no easy feat. Often it is a battle that parents cannot win. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t even try. Keep an eye on your children’s digital activities and ensure they are not getting into emotionally troubling situations or worse, dangerous events.