Is your child/teenager addicted to their phone? Does their phone rule or do they take control of their phone?
I recently ran a workshop on Self-Development with a group of 6th year students in Co. Laois. I would like to share some of my findings which are very relevant to any parent with kids of any age. This was a mixed group – males and females aged 17/18 years of age.
Do you think your phone/gamine effects your study?
–Yes because once you start using it you never get off it and waste hours
-Yes sometimes I loose track of time and I am then too tired or its too late to study
-Yes it is distracting when your friends message you, you feel you have to reply straight away
-Yes playing too much ultimate geam
-Yes because you are constantly checking it which effects my concentration
Up to 95% said their phones effected their study. We spoke at length about how they could change this and what would happen if they did/did not make some changes now. (4 months before Leaving Cert Examination)
They really were very open to taking on change. They admitted they never really thought about the effects their phone was having on their lives – study, family, past-times, but they will now.
Do you think this workshop might encourage you to make any positive changes in your life?
–yes, to turn off my phone when I am studying
-yes, to take my phone out of my bedroom at night
-yes, to find a balance between my real life and my virtual life
-yes, I feel motivated to study
-yes, not to rely on my phone so much
-yes, to set goals for myself and follow them through
-yes, to try harder at training and switch off my phone
My point is, in all the workshops I run, the students are so open to change. I really believe they do not think about the negative effects of their phones, as they have grown up believing this is the only way to live (phone constantly in their hands). They need to come to this realisation themselves, when they decide to turn their phones off themselves because they understand the negative effects of it, they have a good chance of sticking to it. When they are ‘told’ to turn their phone off for study, this is when the battles begin. We spoke about the effect of phones on family life, past-times, fitness, friendships, sleep, values and strengths – our kids need life skills, they need to learn how to control their phones, take control of their lives. We, their parents, can help them to do this from a very early age. We have to set boundaries for them and stick to them. Will there be arguments? yes. Will there be tantrums? yes. But this is part of our parenting job now. We have to support and help our kids to have a balance in their lives, to understand the world offline and to try to take part in it as much as possible.
I would love to see Self-development modules become part of our curriculum from a very early age as our kids are growing up in a very fast paced, changing technological run world and they do need help and support to live in it in a more positive, healthy way.
Please contact me should you have any questions relating to the above. EileenShare Blog