The computers and the Internet are an important part of childhood and adolescence today. The medium enables the acquisition of knowledge; Forums and networks enable communication with one another. Still, there is the danger of becoming addicted to the virtual worlds. Here the question arises: what can you do to prevent computer addiction?
How does a child get addicted to computers in the first place?
The reasons for an addiction to the computer and above all to the Internet cannot be seen in the medium itself. Rather, it is very real triggers that are decisive for behavior. Many children and young people are outsiders in the real world and are sometimes even laughed at by their classmates.
At the same time, parents have less and less time for their children. This is often due to the modern way of life. Both parents go to work and the children are not always fully involved in their free time, as many different factors of a private nature also consume a lot of time.
The children themselves usually suffer from these two factors without this being directly apparent. The more a child remains silent about their problems, the more likely the child will then seek a replacement for the missing contacts. This is precisely where the Internet is ideal. In numerous forums they have the opportunity to speak to other young people.
Escape from the real world
It is not uncommon for good contacts to be made. Real meetings do not take place, but for the first time in a long time the child or adolescent has the feeling that he is accepted again and that he has the chance to make friends online. The computer and the Internet are becoming a substitute for the real world.
In video games, those affected show that they are quite capable of achieving success, a realization that is often missing in the real world. Rather, their life is often characterized by failures that have a negative impact on self-esteem.
Due to the successes on the Internet, children experience an appreciation of their person and self-confidence increases.
How to get the problem under control
In principle, it is not necessary to spend every minute with the child. Rather, it is the quality of interaction that is valued by the children and young people, even if this is not always shown.
Parents can prevent computer addiction by giving the child quality time. Options for this are game evenings that can be played with the classic board games. Most of the time the youngsters enjoy these games, even if this is not shown directly.
Even if it is widespread in another form in modern times: The computer does not belong in a teenager’s room. Rather, it should be in a place that is used by the community. In this atmosphere there is the possibility to exchange ideas with the youngsters and to experience the virtual worlds together with them.
Communication in the real world can arise through shared experience of the virtual world. This communication is an effective prevention against computer addiction.
Use your role model function
Basically, parents should be real. This also means that opinions about computers, the Internet and games must be expressed openly. Even if young people in particular often give the impression that they are not listening, they do.
If the parents reject the behavior on the computer, the role model function works, so that the computer and Internet problem is reduced.
Basically, the principle applies that the offspring must be recognized with their skills. In addition, the best prevention is normal upbringing, combined with love, appreciation and affection.