If your child is spending a lot of time on his/her gadget and is showing behavioural or emotional issues, please take some time to sit with them and comfort them. Tell your child that no matter what the problem is, you are there for them and that you will, together, see things through. Reassure them that accidents happen on the internet and that there is nothing to be scared of.
It could be nothing but sometimes, these behavioural or emotional issues could be the signs of issues that your children are going through. It could be:
- Someone threatening them with compromising pictures.
- Cyber bullying.
- Lack of sleep and productivity.
- Gaming or social media addiction.
- Mental health issues.
If they are dealing with cyber bullying, threats or blackmail, they would need a lot of reassurance. Depending on the serious of the situation, you would need to take action or report about the same. (Click here for more information about registering a cybercrime).
- Make sure you reach out to them from a calm space.
- Tell them not to be scared.
- Reassure them that you will be there for them and that there are plenty of people to support them.
- Tell them not to give into threats.
- Save all the evidence.
- Reach out for support where needed.
Remember that 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. First, help them set a proper sleep-eat-sleep pattern.
- Make sure that their routine includes some kind of physical activity.
- Organise a schedule for them that includes social media time, relaxation, etc. in addition to work or study.
- Cut off usage of unnecessary apps or social media. Alternatively, give them a fixed time to use social media/ YouTube/recreational gadget use until things stabilise.
If it is addiction issues:
- Please talk to them gently.
- Ask them to completely cut off using the gadget or app for 21 days.
- Get them involved in other activities like reading, nature walks, travel, gardening, walking, playing imaginative story games, art, etc. during those days.
- Make sure that they sleep well.
- Handhold them during the days of abstinence. Tell them to take it slow and use only what they need to, for a very limited time.
These are just basic changes that can be made to help them move on. In some cases, external help will be needed, so do not hesitate to reach out for support. There are lots of people to help you. The world and the internet are 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 visit our website at bodhini.in.