We recently laid out the warning signs of a technology addiction in your children. If you have ever tried to break a habit or addiction in yourself, you know how difficult a task this can be. We have found 4 things you can do to help break your child, or someone else of a technology addiction.
Know their triggers
When does your child typically want to use technology? It typically occurs when they are bored, or idle. Eliminating these down times can go a long way to cure an addiction. Take the devices away, and make note of the times they request to use the devices. Keeping the devices away from them also can help them get over the need to use it. Just make sure you are noting the times of day, and the situations that they are in when they ask for them back. Studying these behaviors can help you figure out exactly what triggers them into wanting to use the devices.
Set time limits
One of the most important things you can do when trying to break someone of a technology addiction is to set time limits. This is just a good idea anyway, to help prevent the addiction in the first place, but is definitely important to do once the addiction has already taken hold of your child. Allow for a very small amount of free time daily, and just allow more or even less as behaviors are observed and changed.
As mentioned above, most triggers for technology addiction are boredom. When your child has nothing else to do, it's easy to sit down with a device. Signing your child up for a year round sports team, music lessons, art classes, etc can be a great way to distract them from the technology that seems to rule their life. Whenever they are tempted to use technology they can replace that with practicing their sport or extra curricular activity.
Turn off notifications
There is nothing more tempting than the siren call of a phone notification. It is there, it wants you to interact with it! YOU NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS! You can turn off the notifications on their phone within the settings of the phone and within most applications. Turning off these notifications will eliminate the temptation to check the phone when they are trying to get over the temptations of the devices.
Technology addictions can be hard to master. We are never able to eliminate it completely from our lives because technology is so prevalent and necessary for our lives on a daily basis.
While following these steps might not cure someone completely, it's definitely a good start. If the addiction is serious enough, it is smart to consult a professional who specializes in addiction recovery. There are also a lot of great resources on the internet to help someone overcome these addictions.