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Q. My son is obsessed with online activities and gets angry when we stop him. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 02, 2020

Hello doctor,

My son is 14 years old and studying in the ninth standard. He is a bright student, and for the last few months, he is obsessed with online activities like gaming, chatting and social media. He gets extremely angry if he is not allowed to do online activities, and at times he is shouting and using bad languages to parents. He is always using headphones, and he is not attending classes conducted by the school.



Welcome to

- You are not alone in dealing with your son's online obsession. Internet addiction is becoming a common problem nowadays among young children. The pandemic lockdown has exacerbated the problem with the lack of regular outlets for social and physical activities.

- It looks like your son has developed oppositional and defiant behavior when you try to put in rules and boundaries. It can be challenging initially, but it is essential to stick to rules regarding internet usage.

- As parents, we have to realize that internet use is highly addictive. Many children resort to excessive use to escape their dull reality. It is like a disorder that has to be managed like treating a disease.

- Try not to get angry while dealing with your son. If you are harsh and critical, he may act negatively. Talk to him more when both of you are calm.

- Gradually introduce time limits.

- Encourage more physical activities like walking, running, playing shuttle, and practicing martial arts, whichever is possible. Provide alternate distraction activities. Encourage interaction with peers who are positive role models.

- It will take a few weeks to bring about positive changes. So parents have to be patient.

- If problems are persistent, consult a doctor to rule out any underlying emotional or behavioral issues.

I hope this is helpful. You can contact us again if any further advice is needed.

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