Addicted to the technologies here, translated…
Q: How can I put a stop to my kids staying up all night long on the internet?
- Wu a sixth grader from a dual-income household, is an only child. Since the start of the winter vacations, his parents sent him to go to a winter camp, but there is still a lot of time that he’d spent, all alone at home, when he’d played games on the home computers or logged online using I-Pad.Seeing how their child is getting more and more attached online, going to bed later by the days, the parents thought about taking away Wu’s iPad, restrict his computer usage to the home computer in the living room; but they’d feared the child would rebel. How can they restrict the time he’d spent online, they’re really wrecking their brains.
- A: Banning is Not the Way to Prevent the Addiction to the WWW
- Almost everybody in Wu’s class has a Facebook account, and, a group of kids would chat through Facebook, and post some funny footages or photos on their accounts. And, oftentimes, when it’s bedtime, Wu still held on tight to his I-Pad. And when his parents nagged him, he’d started ranting on how his parents would put so much restrictions on him when he’s off from school.
- With the normalization of high-tech products, the age when elementary school kids are introduced to the online world is younger and younger, and, more problems are stemming from this. How, can we teach our kids to use the internet intelligently, to restrict their times spent online is now, a must-master course for the modern day parents.
The assistant principal and the lecturer of psychology department from Asian University, Ke said, that the Department of Education did a survey and found, that the higher grade levels of children in the elementary years, the more time they’d spent, logged online. The average time online for fourth to sixth grader is two hours on weekdays, and on weekends, it’s increased to three hours, and, they’d logged on to play online games the most, and, the time spent online, for the sake of their school work is less than an hour.
Although the Facebook rule was that you have to be thirteen in order to apply for an account, but the survey found, that almost sixty-six percent of students in elementary school years already has a Facebook account, and there are over ten-percent of kids in the elementary school years who are already addicted to it, or are becoming the high-risk individuals for the addictions. Over six-percent of kids in elementary school years would go out alone with someone they’d met online.
The Parents Not Only Needed to Restrict, But Also to Educate
Ke reminded the parents, that as the addictions of online exacerbates, there would be more problems with the mind and the body too, like headaches, insomnias, sore muscles, dry eyes, blurred visions; and, you’d have a lower sense of self-worth, as well as a lowered sense of happiness, the parents couldn’t just leave it be. “but, other than ‘restricting’, the parents also need to ‘educate’.”
Ke said, that it is unfitting, for the parents to threat, or use their authorities, to prevent the kids from logging on, and they shouldn’t say harsh words to threaten the children like “If I see you with that computer again, I will chop your hands off!”, to prevent the conflicts between the parents and children, or to the extent the children started mutilating themselves.
Five Key Points to Help Children Protect Themselves
But, how could the parents teach the kids, so they can know the limits of their time spent online? Ke believed that you can approach the matter through five angles: who, what, when, where, and how.
On the Who: teach the kids to keep their distance from strangers on social networks like Facebook or LINE, especially to NOT go out to meet them alone, to keep oneself safe.
On the What: remind the children, to abide by the ratings on the websites or the online games, to NOT go into the solicitation sites, or play games that are too violent.
On the When: the time management online is especially important, don’t log on for more than one hour a day, and, for every thirty minutes you’d played online, take a break from the computers.
On the Where: it’s best that the kids use the Internet from home, to avoid the complicated places like the net cafés. And, it would be best, if the kids played online in areas like the living room, to NOT have wireless connections in the bedrooms, to affect the sleep patterns.
On the How: you must be extra careful on shopping online, or trading of game treasures, because these are mostly used by scam artists.
Take the Kids Outdoor More
The parenting expert, Peng suggested, that if the child has a cell phone, then, you can limit their web accessing abilities, so they won’t use their cells to check online 24/7, and still stared at their cells until the moment before they’re about to go to bed. And, if the kids are left at home alone during the day time, then, use a password to prevent access of i-Pad or home computers, and, in the evenings, unlock it, to restrict the time of use.
Peng said, a lot of boys enjoy online games, and the parents should not ban it altogether. Because online gaming had become a way of socializing with each other for the boys now, not allowing them to play may end up making them isolated from their friends. The parents should go into the children’s world, to see what kinds of games they’re playing, and can even set a playtime for Friday nights when you can play the games, to connect with each other, that way, the kids would be more likely to open up to the parents as well.
But, Peng still suggested to the adults, that in the winter breaks, do schedule more activities outside, whether it be a hiking adventure, going to camp, or exercise, playing ball, anything will do, to allow the body and the mind to develop fully, to not just feed the kids with the high-tech products.
And because the parents are NOT on “break” with the school’s schedules, the kids are more likely to be left alone during the day time in the vacations, and, if the kid doesn’t have great self-control, then, s/he will get drawn into the online world, and become addicted, and, it is up to the parents, to put a stop on it, but, like the expert suggested above, to NOT ban them from playing altogether, try to get to know what’s so attractive in those games that your children are into…