When I read a piece of news ‘revealing’ the fact that there are more 12 to 17 year old kids watching videos online than ever before, on their mobile phones, with their headsets on, the inward clucking I mentally did probably resonated through the walls. Yes, being a parent of teenagers makes me far too aware of this problem. In fact, the TV is just there….as part of the house decor or for guests….you know, just in case one of the guests don’t also come with their own smartphones. Sometimes I wonder if I should simply stop subscribing to cable TV. The news, however, did note that those who are 18 and above do watch slightly less online content on their mobile devices, which, I am sure, give parents to tweens a ray of hope.
The Neilsen report that was done on respondents aged between 12 to 34 also revealed that the average number of hours these tweens spend watching online content is a staggering seven hours! This does not mean that older teenagers are angels either because although averaging 18% lower than the younger teens, they spend it watching on their computers or laptops instead. Which makes me wonder if there is any difference at all.
This can’t be a healthy habit so, we went a-hunting for ideas on how to get tweens and teens alike to part with their online videos and pay attention to things around them, or at the very least give their phones and devices a short break in between all that watching.
Remind them that the mobile device is a privilege and not a necessity. Speak to them and set goals and of course, offer a reward when the goal is achieved. This might prove to be an expensive way to solve the problem but some moms shared that it was one of the most effective ways to ‘negotiate’ cooperation from them without them threatening to run away from home.
We understand that some parents are hesitant about turning the device off for them or taking it away so, they managed to control the internet access for the specific device through the phone companies which will do the switching on and off for the parent…and child, of course. This way, the phone company would be to blame (sort of) most of the time until they are more responsible about taking breaks in between.
Get them to enjoy a new hobby and do something new together. I know this is time-tight and also sometimes it involves spending extra money on classes but it is pleasant, reasonable and rewarding to do this. They also get to learn how to make ‘real’ friends offline and connect with their peers better…instead of making new friends on the internet who might or might not have ill intentions behind the ‘friendship’.
The Neilsen report also said that there is an average increase of smartphone of 45% in the country, so, this is going to be a hard battle to fight, honestly speaking but if it takes effort, it takes effort. Do you have your own idea and solution to this problem? Please do feel free to share them with us and our readers in the comments section. Look forward to hearing from you.
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