What Do You Do if Your Child is Addicted to Their Phone?

By Greg Baer M.D.

December 16, 2022

Are you constantly asking yourself:

  • Would this kid stop living without a phone in his hand?
  • When I speak, does she become deaf?
  • Why am I constantly nagging about chores, homework, and being on time?
  • Would she actually stop breathing if she couldn’t check her social media?
  • Does this kid live on another planet?
  • Why do I feel like I’m losing him?

70% of teens sleep with their phone touching their body. Yes, really.

And you’ve tried to get them to pay attention to the things in life that matter. You’ve talked and lectured and yelled. You’ve even tried consequences. But your child is being raised by a phone, not you, and you don’t like it.

What should you know, and what can you do? Do you know that children are NOT naturally drawn to their phones? They use their phones all the time only because they’re missing what they really want, and I will teach you what that is, why they’re not getting it, and how you can give it to them. And when you learn all that, they won’t NEED their phones, and your entire relationship with them will change. They’ll be happy, cooperative, and responsible. Imagine that.

What every child wants is a feeling of CONNECTION with other people. It’s as important as food or air, but if they can’t get that connection from you, they WILL find it somewhere else, and there is no shortage of “connection” on their phone—to every “friend,” acquaintance, business, predator, bully, celebrity, and crazy attention-getter who can access the Internet.

But these insanely available connections are dangerous simulations of what children really need, like junk food and polluted air are harmful simulations of the good food and air that create heathy bodies. Child cell phone addiction does provide a kind of connection, but it is not the binding and life-giving connection provided by unconditional love at home.

Take the first step right now: Say out loud the words, “My child is addicted to his mobile phone, just like an addiction to cocaine.” Then resolve that you’ll do something about this condition that is identified by more and more studies as the most insidious and serious mental health threat to the children of the world. No exaggeration.

Innumerable studies for hundreds of years have proven that babies NEED mental stimulation, without which they wither and die. We know this, but what we are just beginning to learn from neuro-physiological studies is that it matters very much what KIND of stimulation babies receive from birth. From birth through age three, most of the formation of brain pathways is largely established, along with even brain anatomic development.

So, children who are allowed to use phones in those formative years establish brain function and perspectives on people, events, and the world as a whole that are ruled by the nearly-random peers, adults, businesses, and more. They are dedicated not to your child’s health but to selling them whatever is most profitable to them—in money, power, influence, and attitudes.

Your children’s real parents are whoever happens to be passing by the screen in front of their faces. That’s a bit horrifying.

Learn what your child needs most, and—so you don’t hang in suspense—it’s love that every infant and child needs. But not just any kind of love will do. They need Real Love—or unconditional love—the kind of love with no disappointment, expectations, and anger. 

Learn how to find Real Love and share it with your child as you teach them the principles that lead to their being loving, responsible, and happy. Happy children discover that phones are not essential vitamins. Such children naturally become confident and creative, and how could you want more for your children than that?  

Want to learn more?

Get your kids off their phones and talking with you.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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