When and how addictions start in children

When and how addictions start in children

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When we talk about addictions, drug addiction comes to mind, but at the present time, a lot is being talked about and investigated about addiction to technologies (smartphones, tablets or video games).

When do addictions begin in children? What are the most common? What can parents do? We answer all questions about addiction in childhood.

When we talk about addictions, we can refer to addictions in which there is a substance involved, (drugs for example) or addictions "without substance" (to the game, to the computer, food ...). In childhood, addictions usually refer to the use of technologies and not so much of substances, and in adolescence we already talked about addictions due to substance use.

With young children, primary school, what worries parents is the "addiction or dependence of their children with technologies and video games. Nowadays, many parents are concerned because they think that their children are "hooked" to the mobile phone, the tablet ... and they ask us if it is possible that so young they can be "addicted" to them. "My son gets up in the morning and the first thing he does is pick up the tablet or ask me for my cell phone" "He spends hours playing" "If I take his cell phone away he gets angry, screams and gets furious" are some of the concerns that many parents transmit to us.

In adolescents, in addition to the above, there is the fear of substance addictions.

You have to differentiate between use, abuse, dependence and addiction. Addiction would be the last step in a process.

Use: We understand by use that type of relationship with drugs or technologies in which, either due to their quantity, their frequency or due to the subject's own physical, mental and social situation, no immediate consequences are detected on the consumer or on their environment.

Abuse: We understand by abuse that form of relationship with drugs in which, either due to their quantity, their frequency and / or the subject's own physical, mental and social situation, there are negative consequences for the consumer and / or their environment .

Dependence: State in which the addict must continue consuming the drug to avoid the symptoms that result from withdrawal.

Addiction: Addiction is defined as a chronic and recurrent disease of the brain that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite its harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs modify this organ: its structure and function are affected. These changes in the brain can be long lasting, and can lead to dangerous behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.

This is a question that we cannot answer emphatically and establish a critical or key age. Whether a person develops an addiction depends on many factors (personal, social, contextual) and the type of addiction, (an addiction to technology is not the same as to alcohol or drugs) so we cannot say, 5 years, or 15.

In the case of technologies, according to studies carried out in Spain, addiction to new technologies begins at age 7. In the case of substance addiction, adolescence is usually the starting age.

- It is not a question of demonizing its use, but rather of establishing guidelines in its use. The screens themselves do not cause problems, it is the lack of education in its use which causes addiction in children,with the repercussions that this has on their development, (sleep problems, anxiety, attention problems, etc.)

- It is important, in the case of the use of technologies, that parents establish clear guidelines on its use. Set limits, times of use of tablets, video games, mobile phones and facilitate or favor the performance of activities in children, such as sports, outdoor games, workshops etc ...

- We must not forget that we must set an example, so parents must also moderate their use.

- It is important to bear in mind that children, when they are young they do not have the ability to self-regulate or control their impulses, and we are the adults, the parents who must "teach" or regulate our little ones.

- Learning to tolerate frustration and control impulses is an essential aspect in the prevention of addictions. And in that learning to tolerate frustration, the existence of rules, limits and the management of emotions are fundamental aspects.

- Prevention is essential: A very important protection or prevention factor is the personal factor. Good self-esteem, confidence in oneself, in their environment, good communication between parents and children, social skills and conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and emotion management, impulsivity control ... These skills or protective factors are developed fundamentally at home, from the birth of the child we can say, although the school and the environment also play a fundamental role. - In addition, there is prevention at the "educational" level that is done from schools and schools or from institutions, informing and educating.

If we think that our son, child or adolescent has an addiction, we must go to the appropriate professional to guide and advise us and, if necessary, carry out the appropriate intervention or guide us and refer us to the appropriate professionals, addiction specialists.

You can read more articles similar to When and how addictions start in children, in the category of Addictions - vices on site.

Video: How does Addiction Affect a Childs Development? (May 2022).