If a child is spending a lot of time on his/her gadget and seem unusually scared, angry or lost; is showing behavioural changes, please do take time to sit with them. Reassure them that no matter what the problem, you are there for them and that you will see things through with them together. That accidents happen on the internet. That there is nothing to be scared of.
Maybe there is nothing to it, but children could also be going through-someone threatening them with compromising pictures, cyber bullying them, lack of sleep and productivity by spending too much time on their gadget leading to panic attacks, depression watching other people’s exciting social media or addiction issues regarding gaming or social media.
If it is addiction issues-
Please talk to them gently, ask them to cut off from the gadget or whatever app is giving them trouble completely, for 14 days. Get them involved in other activities like reading, nature walks, travel, gardening, walking, playing imaginative story games, art etc for those days. Make sure they sleep well. Hand hold them for a few days and tell them to slowly use only what they need to, in a very limited time after the 14 days of abstinence.
If they are dealing with cyber bullying, threats or blackmail, they need to be dealt from situation to situation. Please take outside support if it seems over whelming. Thousands of adults and children are going through these issues on a daily basis. There is no need to fear this space. Deal with it in a proper manner and move on to a better life.
If the child is dealing with productivity issues -Take it step by step- Help them set their sleep-eat- sleep patterns well. Set a routine along with some physical activity. Organise a schedule for them that includes social media time, relaxation etc. Cut off from unnecessary apps or social media /or give them a fixed time to use social media until things stabilise.
These are just basic changes that can be made to help them move on. In some cases external help will be needed. In which case, do not hesitate to reach out for support. There are lots of people to help you. The world and the internet is filled with good things; it’s all about learning to use the gadget and not letting the gadget use you.
For more information on safe cyber space, please look it up on our website- bodhini.in.