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08/30/2016
Cell phone addiction can be dangerous due to the fact that if you're addicted to something, it affects your lifestyle negatively in more ways than one. Cell phone addiction can affect your teen or tween's lifestyle by distracting your teen or tween from school work and by even encouraging a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to health risks. There are even reports of younger people getting eye strain, arthritis, and carpel tunnel syndrome from using their cell phone too much.

What Is an Addiction?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an addiction is "an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something." In other words, if your child feels the need to check their cell phone constantly or can't live without their cell phone for an extended period of time, they might be addicted to their cell phone.

Why Do People Become Addicted to Cell Phones?

One proposed theory behind why people become addicted to their cell phones is based on the study of variable rewards. This study was conducted by B.F. Skinner in the 1950s and in this study, B.F. Skinner took two groups of mice and gave one group a concise and consistent amount of treats, and another group varying and inconsistent amounts of treats every time a lever was pressed. The group of mice that received a consistent amount of treats pressed the lever less frequently than the group of mice that received varying amounts of treats every time the lever was pressed. In other words, whenever your teen or tween checks their cell phone, they aren't getting a consistent or concise reward but something completely random which makes the brain release dopamine allowing them to become addicted more easily.

Signs That Your Child May Be Addicted to Their Cell Phone

Before you read the following, please realize that cell phone addiction may be a sign or symptom of an even greater problem or disorder.
  • They become uncomfortable and withdrawn when they are not able to use their cell phone
  • They are unable to cut back on cell phone usage
  • Severe weight loss or weight gain
  • Sleep disruptions such as insomnia or sleeping too much too often
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Isolation from friends and family
If your child seems or teen distracted or lacks interest in their academics, enroll them in tutoring in Katy TX, for assistance in the matter. Contact The Tutoring Center, Katy TX today for your free assessment at 832-437-0635.

Causes of Cell Phone Addiction

The reasons behind your teen or tween's cell phone addiction are numerous. Here are just a few:
  • Anxiety and depression - If your teen or tween experiences anxiety and depression, then they will be more likely to abuse or overuse their cell phone, according to this study.
  • Lowered fitness level - If your teen or tween is spending less time than is recommended on fitness and exercise each and every day, then they are most likely spending too much time on their cell phone.
  • Stress - If your teen or tween is stressed or anxious then they will turn to their cell phone for comfort. Avoid this situation by talking with your teen or tween, so that whatever is bothering them can be handled in a logical and direct manner.

What Can You Do to Help Your Child Who Is Addicted to Their Cell Phone?

The best and most effective way to address this problem is by setting standards and rules that are realistic and achievable. Also, leading by example won't hurt either. Many parents tend to get upset and angry when they see signs of internet addiction in their children. What this does is simply make your teen or tween believe that they're bad and will also cause them to see you as an enemy rather than an ally. They may even suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, anger, and irritability. Instead of getting angry, work with your child to create boundaries for limited cell phone usage. For example, only allow cell phone usage after their homework and chores are finished and as long as they're not at the dinner table. Remember, you are not trying to control your child, you are working to free them of a psychological dependence. For more great content, check out this post on cell phone addiction from a teacher's perspective.

Enroll Your Child or Teen in One-on-One Tutoring in Kay

A healthy mind is the key to unlocking success. Another great way to help your teen or tween reach their academic goals is to enroll them in tutoring in Katy TX. At The Tutoring Center, Katy TX, you'll find a friendly and enthusiastic team of professionals ready to work with your child to help them reach their academic goals. Call 832-437-0635 today for a free academic assessment.

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