How to help teenagers with internet, gaming & social networking addiction

Written by Nigel Simpkins

Nowadays teenagers are not only diagnosed with alcohol and drug addiction but equally with internet, gaming and social media addiction which is increasing the tensions of parents across the world.

There is little dispute on the fact that the internet is one of the most revolutionary things that we have today, but for some parents, it’s becoming a big problem as their kids are using it more than they actually require. Yes, children are rapidly getting addicted to gaming, internet, and social media now which is ruining their day to day routine to a great extent.

Most of the teenagers start consuming the internet on their smartphones as soon as they wake up in the morning and they stay up late at night for communicating with their friends on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter etc. In addition to that they also use platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Tumblr heavily which prevents them from giving their valuable time to other important things in life.

Because of their obsession with internet, gaming and social media, most of the teenagers today fail to have a healthy lifestyle as they are unable to get time for workouts and outdoor sports. In addition to that they fail to nourish their relationships with their family members because they hardly get enough time to communicate with them.

Here are some of the important signs and symptoms of the internet, gaming and social networking addiction and if parents find these signs in their teens, they must try to help them.

  • Staying online for hours while consuming the internet on their smartphones, laptops and tablets, etc.
  • Playing video games all night
  • Failing to eat their food on time because they are busy chatting with their friends on social media
  • Diminishing interest in studies and failure to participate in social activities
  • Staying up late at night while talking to friends on social media
  • Bunking classes and getting low grades in exams
  • Communicating less with family members
  • Reducing interest in grooming and personal hygiene
  • Showing the signs of depression when they are asked to cut down on their social media time
  • Often hiding from family members that they are using the internet
  • Reducing interest in playing outdoor games
  • Ignoring their favourite programs on TV because they want to stay online and chat with their friends

All those parents who find their teens behaving in the above mentioned ways should try to help them with their internet, gaming and social media addiction as quickly as possible.

Here’s what parents should do for their children

Spend more time with your Son/Daughter

It’s very important for parents to give time to their children if they want to help them with their addiction. Make sure that you take out time for your children and discuss their hobbies and interests with them. Even if you follow hectic work schedules, you must spend some quality time with your teens.

Maybe you can go for morning walks with them in a beautiful park and talk about their day to day life to understand how they spend their time.

Make sure that you have breakfast and dinner together

One of the best ways to spend quality time with your child is to have your breakfast and dinner together. You can discuss a variety of things with him/her while having food it will help in strengthening your relationship with your child. Because of that, rather than spending their time while consuming the internet, your children will feel like talking to you.

Tell your child that he/she has a problem

If you believe that your son is suffering from gaming, the internet and social media addicting, it becomes your responsibility to tell him that he has a serious problem and that it’s important to deal with it in a right way. You should also emphasise on the fact that, if he fails to seek the treatment on right time, his problem can aggravate to a great extent.

Find a well-known therapist for them

If you believe that your son really needs help take him to a well- known therapist for addiction treatment so that his obsession for internet, gaming and social media can reduce significantly. The therapist will ask a number of questions from your son, to understand how obsessed he is with the internet and social media. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, the therapist will suggest the treatment.

Therapist will explain negative effects of addiction

During the therapy sessions, the therapist will explain all the adverse consequences of internet and social media addiction to your son, which will help in convincing him that he need to to take certain steps to recover from this problem.

In this way, your child will start working towards the recovery of his addiction and the problem will be solved soon.