The internet is everywhere – from our work desks to our pockets. It’s no surprise that internet addiction is becoming a real concern for parents. As technology has continued to progress into smaller and more convenient forms, our teens now enjoy ready access to the web. While the internet is a wonderful tool which allows us to communicate and interact with a global community, it’s something that can be disruptive to the lives of children and teenagers.
So, is your kid using the internet too much? Are they addicted? Here’s some parenting tips from scholarly research on internet addiction in teenagers (15 and 16 years old).
Those with authoritarian parenting styles resulted in the highest levels of internet addiction. Avoid letting frustration guide how you interact with your kids – being overly controlling is a classic mistake. It gives a teenager the exact reasons they need to defy your best intentions.
We know that for many parents today, the pure scope of the internet and the possibilities it entails are overwhelming. Also, negative consequences can sometimes be hard to foresee, which can lead to overly permissive parenting. Don’t let this prevent you from taking action, as this style of parenting can cause an imbalance that may give your teenagers free reign to fall into deeper levels of internet addiction.
Those with a more diverse style of parenting showed to have the least degree of addictive internet use among their teenagers. The study found that a pairing of flexible parenting and non-authoritarian style to be most effective in curbing internet addiction.
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As mentioned above, the worst you can do for your teenager’s internet addiction is to be overly authoritarian. Be flexible – elastic – in how you interact with your teenager. The combination of various parenting styles, such as high flexibility and low authoritarianism, creates a more diverse learning experience for your kid.
Keeping your children stimulated and your teens socially connected is key. However, it’s clear that over stimulation and inundation with media can be disruptive. As such, try to keep these parenting tips in mind when you evaluate your kid’s internet use.