We all love the World Wide Web and shudder to imagine a world without the Internet, yet for young and impressionable minds, it can be overwhelming for some. This is an issue that often arises and in order to get a heads-up, here are a few tell-tale signs that your teenage child is spending too much time on the Internet.
- General lack of interest – When a person is addicted to an activity, it draws a lot of their mental energy and if your son or daughter seems generally disinterested, start investigating what they are actually doing with their free time. If, for example, you went into your teenage son’s browsing history, don’t be surprised if the adult shop is shown. Young men are understandably curious about sex, yet we all know the extent of hardcore porn that can be found online.
- Grades go down – This is definitely something to set alarm bells ringing; there must be a reason for this and you can start by having a chat with your son/daughter and see if that reveals anything. It isn’t fair to assume too much, rather do some investigating to try and pinpoint the reason for bad exam results. It could be bad vision, or a physical ailment, or even stress; it is important to find out the cause and take appropriate action to resolve the problem.
- Using a digital device at the meal table – Chatting to Facebook friends while at the dinner table should not be permitted under any circumstances and if your son/daughter is doing this, they are probably on a social media platform. While Facebook is fine, it can suck young minds in and before you know it, they are addicted. Try to limit the amount of time your kids spend online when at home and there are tech ways that you can control their time on the Internet.
- Constantly carrying their smartphone/tablet – There’s a time and place for everything, yet if you never see your offspring without their digital device, this is not a good sign. It is a good idea to mention this, but not in a confrontive manner, otherwise you can expect some resistance. If you have a good relationship, you should be able to bring up such a topic without your child getting emotional. Be calm and realistic when debating things like how to spend your downtime and you will get a better response.
- Spending too much time in their room – If your son or daughter are addicted to the Internet, they won’t want the world to know and if you hardly ever see them at home, they might be online in their bedroom.
The more tech-savvy you are, the easier you can investigate your child’s online activities; you can set parental controls on your home Wi-Fi, which is one way to limit the time your kids spend online.