Could too much time spent on technology lead to unruly behavior or even worse with your child?

An Iowa teenager ran away from home recently when his parents took away his cell phone.

As reported by most major media outlets, the 13-year-old was found dead about five days later.

Although no one will ever know what really caused this child’s death, and several problems may have affected his behavior, taking his cell phone from him was certainly a contributing factor to an argument between the child and his parents.

Today, many young people are becoming addicted to their technological devices at an early age. Many parents give their children iPads and tablets at the age of 2, some even younger.

Studies are beginning to appear indicating the problems associated with addiction to technology.

Too much device time can lead to slow development of social skills and a lack of communication. It can also have long-term physical effects with brain development and related problems.

Here are five helpful tips to reduce your addiction to technology and increase healthy conversations.

1. Give very small children blocks and toys, not devices. The best toys will engage your baby’s senses, ignite his imagination and encourage him to interact with others. As children grow, they can use toys to explore object permanence and cause and effect relationships. They also need items like blocks to help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

2. Parents need to put away their devices and lead by example. Company demands can be tough, but mom and dad need to stay away from their devices and talk to their kids. Create device-free hours around dinner and after. Interact with your children by playing board games and other activities that encourage conversation. You can always reply to work-related messages after the children have gone to bed.

3. Consider giving your child / teenager a flip phone instead of a smartphone. A flip phone encourages more conversations and discourages internet access and app use. If you need to provide a phone for your child because you don’t have a landline and your child stays home alone, or you need to pick up your child from school or training and need to be able to communicate, a flip phone will do for you. enough.

4 Maintain “device boundaries” between your child and their friends so they don’t dominate their life. When planning game meetings, sleepovers and social outings … ask the parent what their device policy is and stick to it. Do not allow your child to bring their device to a friend’s house if that family has a free device policy. If you need to contact your child, get the parent’s phone number to contact your child.

5. Find out how to limit screen time and block content. If you have doubts about the technology, but not to the point where you feel it should be taken away altogether, inquire about the best products on the market for blocking content, imposing screen time limits, etc. Some good apps for this are Circle, and Cortex.

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