In an attempt to satisfy all the children’s whims, but also to keep them occupied while we are at work or while we are working around the house, we prefer to buy the children a computer and an Internet connection. Although the Internet should have an educational role, it is much easier to use it as a source of entertainment.
This is also the conclusion of a recent study, which shows that 63.5% of children under the age of 14 access the computer daily, and approximately 59% of them access the Internet every day.
According to this study, over 43% of children access the Internet to play, and 19% of them to communicate through instant messaging programs, chat or to sit on forums. Less than a quarter of them use the Internet to look for materials or documents they need at school.
Children are not followed
Although they know that the Internet can become dangerous and that it can contain vulgar messages, almost half of the parents only occasionally supervise their children on the computer, and a quarter do not supervise them at all.
Studies show that only 25% of parents supervise their child every time they surf the Internet. And when the child becomes addicted to the virtual space, most parents do not know how to “attack” the problem.
It leaves long-term marks
Computer addiction has started to affect more and more children in recent years, and psychologists are of the opinion that specialized clinics should be opened to treat this disorder.
Theoretically, such an addiction, which can overcome the parents, could be treated in a clinic dealing with addictions. Pretty hard though. Psychiatrist Eugen Hriscu, specialized in addictions, says that in our country there are not even centers for treating alcohol problems.
In their absence, a child with problems can be taken to the school psychologist or any other therapist. Internet addiction can affect behavior in the long term. The specialist warns that most children who spend a lot of time on the computer become disorganized and isolated adults.
It is computer dependent if…
* he spends almost all his time in front of the computer, either playing or surfing the Internet; * he isolates himself more and more from friends and family; * do not eat; * ignores anyone who tries to distract him from the computer; * has poor results at school and many unmotivated absences; *has an aggressive behavior towards those close to him; * encounter adaptation problems both at school and outside it; * cannot concentrate; * does not sleep or is tired all the time.
Addiction treatment centers
The first center for the treatment of Internet addiction was recently opened in the USA. In this country, one person out of ten suffers from this disease. Depending on the severity, the treatment can last six weeks and costs $14,500.
In Europe, the anti-net treatment appeared a few years ago, in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium or France. In China, the country with 300 million Internet users, there are 400 rehabilitation centers for computer addicts.
Tips for parents
It would be best to avoid getting into this situation. That’s why, when you buy him a computer, set some rules:
*do not install the computer in his room, but in a place where you can supervise him all the time;
* establish together a fixed schedule for using the computer. First he has to do his lessons and then he can play. If he protests, calmly explain to him what dangers may lie in wait;
* go out more often for a walk, a picnic or send him to camps on vacation;
* enroll him in a sports club or an artistic circle, depending on his inclinations, and encourage him to exercise;
* let him make friends. If he doesn’t want to leave the house, he calls his friends over or organizes parties or movie nights for them.