Teen Internet Addiction – Part 2
Posted on: January 17, 2013. Comments ( 1 )

Author: Chitra Aravind, Parent from Chettinad Vidyashram, Chennai
Consultant Psychologist - (RCI Certified)

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There are many adverse consequences of using internet unwisely. Let us see the reason behind this kind of addiction and also tips for the parents and teens to get rid of this unhealthy habit. When there is possibility of risk factors discussed in Part 1, the parents must be careful and closely monitor the activities of their children. If they discover that their child is addicted to net from the signs discussed in Part 1 of this article, they should help them get rid of the unhealthy habits.

The reasons may be many behind computer addiction. Teens may use internet to avoid the reality and forget any worries and to escape from the burden of studies, to relax, to discover their sexuality etc. In this techno-savvy world it is not possible to say complete ‘No’ to teens for accessing computers and internet. Parents and school cannot literally ban them from social-networking sites. On the other hand, if they take any such steps, the teens will only rebel and access computers by some means or the other. There was recent news where a teenage girl even drugged her parents, when they banned internet usage after 10 pm. It is not advisable to be too strict with teens regarding the internet usage, as it will not solve the problem. As, parental supervision is not always possible, it is necessary to shape the behavior of the teens to refrain from internet usage by following ways:

  • Parents must have open communication with teens and try to empathize with them. It is important for teens to know that their parents understand and trust them.
  • After gaining trust, parents can talk to their children friendly about the Do’s and Don’ts of using internet and create awareness without showing authority in their talk.
  • Now a day’s lot of antivirus software and free wares are available to excise parental control. It can be attached to all the systems the teens access.
  • After setting clear limits, teens can be permitted to use computers.
  • At all the point, parents should make their children realize that they trust them.
  • Parents can motivate their children to use internet time as a reward strategy – reinforcement, after they complete their learning target (academic lessons).
  • Teens may find it very difficult to refrain from internet usage as the social networking sites would satisfy their various needs like boosting their self-esteem, accept them for what they really are, escape from reality etc. In such cases, parents have to play role as their friends and love their children and compliment them appropriately. The factors that maintain the behavior of internet addiction must be broken and substituted by healthy and alternative ways.
  • Make them get in touch with the real world: Tell them about various other activities which are equally and even more exciting like playing outdoor games, going out with friends, watching movies, spending time with family etc.
  • Teens can be motivated to develop strong friendship networks to discuss their problems.
  • Teens must be given some responsibilities or home chores to finish and can be rewarded appropriately by their parents for finishing it.
  • Teens can be motivated to have concrete goals in life which will add meaning to their life and should be asked to work towards it.
  • If your child is finding it very difficult to stay away from Internet, seek professional help for underlying emotional issues. Internet addiction is also a sign of other underlying emotional issues like anxiety, depression etc.

All the strategies needs complete involvement of the parents and without their participation nothing is possible. It is better to be proactive rather than to regret the repercussions due to negligence of the parents. It is important for parents to invest time and energy for the healthy development of their children. After all, your child needs you.

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……by Chitra Aravind, Consultant Psychologist – (RCI Certified), Parent from Chettinad Vidyashram, Chennai.

Other articles from Chitra Aravind:

1. How to teach discipline to your child?
2. Quality Time

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Comments (1)


    MADHURI says:

    very good article.thanks

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