As a parent, how can I detect if my youth is addicted and how can I intervene?
The omnipresence of the media in the lives of young people and the great need for control they have in adolescence often leads them to spend many hours in front of the screens. For example, a young person may become isolated, neglect school work, refuse to participate in family life and adopt behaviors that displease parents.
The parent may then remain grappling with many concerns.
But rest assured, the fact that your young person spends several hours in front of the various screens does not automatically mean that he is dependent on them.
In fact, cyber addiction is a rather rare phenomenon that affects only a very small percentage of young people. We talk about cyberdependence when the obsession of a young person for a game prevents him from working on a daily basis, that he neglects his personal hygiene to the detriment of the virtual world, that these relations with the real world are degraded and that he does not can not help playing even if he himself considers that his behavior is problematic.
When a young person spends a lot of time on a medium, we usually talk about excessive use, which most of the time responds to an imminent need to socialize or to obtain immediate pleasure.
This does not detract from the fact that many parents are wondering how to handle the excessive use of their young.
But how to do it? Many parents will choose to end this problem by removing the video game console or denying their youth Internet access.
Most of the time, this choice will provoke a reaction of the young person and unfortunately will influence very little the use he will make of it in the future. It is better to ask the motivation of his youth so that he wants to reduce the time he spent in front of a screen.
To do this, it is in the interest of the parent to take an interest in the behaviors of his youth and discuss with him his motives and activities in the virtual world. The parent will then obtain several information that will allow him to better understand the behavior of his young and thus, lead him to find possible solutions.
As a parent, it is possible to discuss the number of hours spent in front of a media outlet so that the young person can become aware of the use he makes of it.
For example, you could have your youth complete a chart showing how many hours they spend in the virtual world or in front of a screen to motivate them to change their own behavior. To conclude, we must remember that the behavior of a young person does not change instantly.
The parent must value the youth’s progress, help set goals and, if necessary, refer them to resources that can help them.