Addiction is a neuropsychological disorder that triggers an intense and persistent urge to do something or engage in a behaviour. Addiction is extensively used for substance abuse but various kinds of addiction are equally dangerous. Teenage years are very crucial when children can develop any addiction easily. Dr. Swati Mittal, Psychiatrist & Wellness Coach, talks about different teenage addictions and how to tackle them.
Social Media Addiction
This addiction is real and evident with the rising number of social media enthusiasts, who can do without talking to people in real life but cannot do without checking and posting on social media. This is a concerning issue as the use of social media releases the dopamine hormone that makes you feel good. According to a Common Sense Media report released in 2022, about 62% of teens use social media every day and the percentage is only rising every year.
How to handle it - Parents must keep a watchful eye on their kids’ social media accounts and track their average time spent on them. If your child spends most of their time scrolling through social media and this is impacting their studies and other aspects of their lives, consult a child psychologist to overcome this addiction.
Kids these days are more tech-savvy than their parents. Some children get addicted to phones so much that they require a phone even while eating and using the washroom. They panic if they don’t have a phone, which is a psychological emergency you should be concerned about.
What can parents do - If you see your child spending most of their time on the phone, try to limit their use by not giving them a phone in the first place. Besides, enrol them in other fun activities to keep them busy and distracted from their phones.
Teenagers, regardless of gender, are getting addicted to online games these days. Obsession with games like PUBG is the perfect example of gaming addiction. This compulsive health disorder affects their health and relationships. Over time, they may become severely addicted to gaming.
How to handle it - Do not let your child play a lot of mobile or video games. Set a time for games and make sure they don’t overextend. Encourage them to play outdoor games as this would boost their physical, mental as well as psychological health.
How to help children overcome addictions?
Addiction to anything is bad. These can impact behaviour, thinking, and mental health of your teen and that can cause severe consequences in the future.
- Talk to them about it - Parents must invest time in their children. Sit with them and get updates about their studies, health, and life daily to monitor them. If you see them getting addicted to something, talk about it first.
- Counselling - You can also consult a paediatric counsellor if you are unable to handle your child’s addictions.
- Shift their focus - You can assign some work to them that might be of their interest. This can be gardening, painting, dancing or other creative work.
These are some ways that you can help your child overcome addiction.
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