Child's addiction in using handphone

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby sangyu » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:15 am

Dear Parents
Can you share with me on how do you control your child in getting addicted to mobile phone. I am having the problem of controlling my kids in using their handphone and not putting their study as top priority. With the requirement from school, such as the teacher in using Whatsapp in communication, e-learning, etc, I found that it is difficult for me to control my child in getting access to internet and download stuff and store in the handphone. I am just getting too frustrated and tired in telling my kid not to use handphone but to study. It is all depend on the child and it is actually no use in controlling. But how to let the child be able to "wake up" and be an independent learner.

Thanks in advance for all suggestion/advice.

sangyu
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:29 am

I think you have to set some rules and enforce them. But you need to make the rules reasonable, workable and enforceable. Does your child have to use a phone for e-learning and accessing the internet? I would think that using a computer is easier on the eyes as the screen is bigger. If you can limit the use of the phone to just for communication, you might be able to monitor better. My daughter (sec3) only checks her whatsapp etc on the phone a few times a day - usually once she gets home (she has no data plan so needs to use the home wifi), then about every 2-3 hrs, for a few minutes at a time. She uses her computer for academic stuff, and we taught her from the time she was little when she is working, she should have chat, email etc turned off. She herself decided not to have any games on her phone as she agrees it takes too much time and is distracting.

Actually, for teens, the main thing is to get them to agree with you that too much time spent on devices is a waste of time and inefficient. If you can't convince them, then they will find ways to circumvent your rules. Once you convince them, then you can work out some rules.

slmkhoo
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby sangyu » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:31 am

My son (Sec 3) does not have any data plan and we give him a hi-card and we also do not install fibre broadband at home. The only times he can get access to internet is in school before and after school lessons and when at home when he will ask for mobile broadband from us. this is the way that we restrict him in using internet. However, I noticed that he has stuff in his handphone which he can view without internet, so I suspect he has preload video into his handphone when he has access to internet. When he ask for the mobile broadband, he will tell me he need to see his whatapps, email but definitely he does other download.

At the beginning of this year, his school teacher has called him at night asking why he is not responding fast enough when she sent out the message via whatsapp as my son is the class chairman who needs to do some responsibility. My son has explained the reason to her that he does not have data plan. So now the teacher will send a separate SMS to him in addition to the whatsapp to the class.

All the while, I have explained to him the problem of using his handphone compromising the time to be spend on study and I know that he also understand it, but he is still not able to control himself and be motivated to focus on his study.

In fact, I was too angry yesterday and asked him to surrender his handphone but he did not. I plan to confiscate it tonight but am just too scared of any rebellious consequence from a 15yrs old teenager though he has not shown any such behaviour so far.

Sorry I have been too long winded in this posting.

sangyu
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby Teacher Aaron » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:58 pm

Teenagers are not easy to handle for sure. They are not mature adults, but they want the privileges of adults minus the responsibilities.

I'm not sure if you are able to do it, but I suggest the following steps:

  1. Sit down and talk to your child about why he needs mobile data. For reasonable requests, agree with him, and for reasons that are not sound, disagree with him firmly, but don't scold him.
  2. Talk to him about how he plans to use the mobile data. Make it clear but in a nice way that he cannot be using mobile phone and data all the time. Get him to propose how he is going to plan his usage (e.g. when at home, he can only check his phone once every hour, and no more than 10 minutes each time, and he will have to leave his phone with you after checking). I suggest that you tell him he can use the mobile phone for up to an hour before he sleeps provided he has finished all his homework for the day to give him incentive to do work and to let him feel that you understand his need for a little bit of personal time.
  3. Ask him to propose the penalties for breaching the plans he suggested. Reject penalties that are too light, telling him that it has to be a fair exchange; in order to get what he wants badly, he must be willing to accept a heavy penalty for not fulfilling his part of the bargain.
  4. Also, talk to him about the penalties for exceeding the data given on the data plan. Again, ask him to propose the penalties for exceeding the data usage and reject light penalties using the logic given previously.

Once the agreement is drawn up, let him have his data plan. The moment he breaches the agreement, apply the penalty without exception. If he refuses, then you have to remind him that you kept your share of the bargain but he isn't keeping his share of the bargain, and if he doesn't fulfil his part, then you will take everything away from him.

My plan seeks to give your child the ability to make his own decisions and to take responsibility for it. Let him agree to the rules of the game and put the ball in his court for him to play and abide by his rules. If he breaks the rules, he is breaking his own rules and not yours, and he can't blame you.

By no means is my suggestion foolproof, but at least when you chide him after applying my plan, you have the upper hand because he cannot say that you made the rules for him, and you have to keep on reminding him that he was the one who agreed to abide by the rules.

Teacher Aaron
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby sangyu » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:01 am

I totally agreed with you. These are the ways that we had followed by using penalties/rules and let my child agreed to. My son does not have data plan, he is using a hi-card. This enables us to control his internet access.
Yesterday, I have a conversation with him, explaining the reason of such penalty. After I have said all, I asked him did he has any to say. He said he has nothing. I have explained to him that it is easy for me to take his phone or requested for his password or requested him to delete away all his download but I did not do all so because I respect his freedom and also want him to think of ways on how to solve his problem. In the past, I have proposed solution to him but he did not agree to. Hence since this problem surfaced again, I need to take away his handphone. I told him it will be returned to him after 3 days and during this period, he can have a clear mind without interruption of the phone, however he can use an old phone. I will continue to monitor closely does the old phone causes the same problem. After the discussion, he did not show any negative feeling towards me as he talked to me, so I felt that it is good.

As I am more soft hearted, so I requested my husband to sit with me during my conversation with my son. This helped me a lot as my husband is more firm.

On Friday when I return the phone to him, I will use your steps as they are listed systematically. Thanks a lot.

BTW, we gave my daughter data plan only when she was in JC1 and we have told her that she has to pay by herself if she exceeds the data plan. The main purpose of the data plan is to assist in her school work.

sangyu
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby SAHM_TAN » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:46 am

My kids are very young but I can see how attracted they are to my iPhone heehee.

Now seriously considering to change my iPhone to a non-smart phone

SAHM_TAN
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby janet88 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:52 am

SAHM_TAN wrote:My kids are very young but I can see how attracted they are to my iPhone heehee.

Now seriously considering to change my iPhone to a non-smart phone

the good thing about iPhone is the requirement to put in password to download games...daughter is using an iPhone and there are no games in it.
for android though, games can be downloaded without the need for password.

janet88
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby Teacher Aaron » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:49 am

sangyu wrote:I totally agreed with you. These are the ways that we had followed by using penalties/rules and let my child agreed to. My son does not have data plan, he is using a hi-card. This enables us to control his internet access.
Yesterday, I have a conversation with him, explaining the reason of such penalty. After I have said all, I asked him did he has any to say. He said he has nothing. I have explained to him that it is easy for me to take his phone or requested for his password or requested him to delete away all his download but I did not do all so because I respect his freedom and also want him to think of ways on how to solve his problem. In the past, I have proposed solution to him but he did not agree to. Hence since this problem surfaced again, I need to take away his handphone. I told him it will be returned to him after 3 days and during this period, he can have a clear mind without interruption of the phone, however he can use an old phone. I will continue to monitor closely does the old phone causes the same problem. After the discussion, he did not show any negative feeling towards me as he talked to me, so I felt that it is good.

As I am more soft hearted, so I requested my husband to sit with me during my conversation with my son. This helped me a lot as my husband is more firm.

On Friday when I return the phone to him, I will use your steps as they are listed systematically. Thanks a lot.

BTW, we gave my daughter data plan only when she was in JC1 and we have told her that she has to pay by herself if she exceeds the data plan. The main purpose of the data plan is to assist in her school work.


I think the key to success is in the way you talk to him. You cannot scold him or talk down to him. You have to talk to him as an equal (like an adult), even though he is not one yet, because he probably wants to be treated like an adult. Impress on him that you will allow him some adult privileges if he agrees to take up adult responsibilities.

Don't force him to agree on the spot. Tell him that he can take his time to think and talk to you when he's ready. Put the ball in his court so that he cannot blame you for not letting him have what he wants to have because you have basically agreed to his requests and all it takes is for him to offer some personal responsibility back in return.

Teacher Aaron
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby SAHM_TAN » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:08 pm

janet_lee88 wrote:
SAHM_TAN wrote:My kids are very young but I can see how attracted they are to my iPhone heehee.

Now seriously considering to change my iPhone to a non-smart phone

the good thing about iPhone is the requirement to put in password to download games...daughter is using an iPhone and there are no games in it.
for android though, games can be downloaded without the need for password.


For now, the kids are ok with games. They are ok with playing a game a day per wk during the jun/dec hols. For one wk hols, it's half a day, a particular day was chosen and only one game.

The attraction to my iPhone is still strong heehee. dd1 was using the Internet to find squishy, ds was searching the apps store for free games for next play in Jun and I have a colouring app that bb likes. They take turn using my iPhone LOLOLOL.

So seriously thinking to switch to a simpler phone.

SAHM_TAN
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Re: Child's addiction in using handphone

Postby insider » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:34 pm

SAHM_TAN wrote:So seriously thinking to switch to a simpler phone.


If you dont really need to a smartphone, it's a good idea to switch to a basic phone and 'detox' yourself from that gadget.

I am notorious over having a basic Nokia, regardless of how good friends trying to sell me the advantages of having a smartphone (not that I dont know but I just see it as more harm than good).

My 11 years old son will not breathe a word about any phone stuff nowadays. He has so minimal gadgets and I dont see how it is affecting his life in anyway (ever used to ask but now he seems to understand my logic of he not having when now I am taking care of my 3 years old niece at home and he 'controls' the TV screening time for her whenever she asks to watch TV. He will try to explain to her the ill effects of screens like the real thing. I tested on him as to whether I should buy an i-Pad for my grand niece as a birthday present, he replied, "Of course not! She will get addicted and then problematic.")

While some adults are addicted to the phones themselves, they are not agreeable to similar addiction by their young kids. I always fail to see the logic in this...

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