‘My Child is an iPad Addict’: 9 Tips to Get Your Kids Off Their Gadgets

In this age of computer games, many children have become addicted to handheld gadgets. Active play seems to be a thing of the past today. But while these portable electronic devices are considered great inventions when it comes to entertaining the young ones, there is a downside to them.

 

Are you worried that your child spends more time on their devices than with you? Do you think they’re obsessed with their (or your) smartphones: your little one’s watching YouTube cartoons or playing games non-stop, and the older one is looking at it every few minutes, texting friends all the time, checking to see how many “likes” they’ve got after they’ve posted on social media, refusing to put their phones to one side round the dinner table? Well, I share your concerns – and so do many other parents.

Too often, we have no choice but to accessorize our children with laptops and smartphones in this gadget-filled world, so we have to take responsibility for their disciplined behavior and moderation in their use as well. We buy our kids gadgets to keep them safe, help them with their homework and to keep them out of our hair but we probably didn’t foresee all the problems they can cause.

As parents, we can definitely take steps to change this situation. Will it be hard? Yes. Is it impossible? No.

Here are some ways to curb your child’s gadget addiction:

1. Parental teamwork

Our duty as parents is outlined very clearly in the following hadith. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

‘Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man’s slave is a shepherd in charge of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.’ [Abi Dawud]

Hence, it is absolutely essential for parents to discuss and decide how to tackle this situation together as a team. So, what are the pros and cons of our kids having constant access to technology?

Pros: TV shows, electronic games and mobile phones can be brilliant resources for our children. Games aren’t just enjoyable; they can help them expand their ways of thinking not only educationally sometimes, but also in ways that they will need for the technology-rich future. The web and Internet gives access to amazing amount of knowledge. Using multimedia, our children can convey ideas in ways we could only dream of a decade ago.

Cons: However, we must also be aware of the downside of technology for our children. To flourish in the real world children still need emotional resilience, social competence and the basic skills of reading and writing, so we have to ensure that too much

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