Internet addiction isn’t common to parents and teachers; and it isn’t that widely recognized in the medical community as well. But it doesn’t mean that you can ignore it as a serious health condition.
Here are the things you should know about Internet addiction…
Internet Addiction Symptoms
There are several symptoms visible to kids with internet addictions. Physical symptoms include headaches and migraines associated with the use of the computer, carpal tunnel syndrome, backaches, neglect of personal hygiene, lack of sleep and inconsistent sleeping patterns, and dry eyes.
Psychological symptoms include inability to end the use of the computer, depression when not at the computer, neglect of friends and family, significant increase of time in using the computer, and feeling of intense happiness while at the computer.
Make sure that you place your internet-connected computer in an area of the house where you can monitor their use and not in their bedrooms where they can freely use the internet as often as they want.
Create a list of rules that specifically state the time they are allowed to use the internet and on to what purpose they can use it. Make sure you do this in the beginning to prevent uncontrollable use.
If you see signs of internet addiction, ask yourself if your kids’ use of the internet affects their performance at school, relationship with friends and family, and overall health. If it does, make some restrictions on the use of the internet but don’t ban the use of it.
Take time to sit with your kids when they use the internet.
Keep a good firewall program or website filtering software to ensure that your kids don’t enter pornographic sites and those that contain graphic images of violence and gore. Often, kids on pre-teens and teenage years start to busy themselves browsing through these sites so if your computer blocks them, your kids will divert themselves to other much meaningful sites… well that is the theory.
Teach your kids about their responsibility and accountability on the use of the internet. These values will keep them guided on the dos and don’ts of using the internet.
And finally, act as a good example. Take note that you are seen as their role model so if they see no one to follow, any warnings, restrictions, and other forms of preventive measures will do no good.