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Technology Addiction

My kid seems addicted to her phone. What do I do?

It may seem like your kid is addicted (and may even "feel" addicted) to the phone, but it's more likely normal teen behavior. Teens check their devices frequently and feel pressure to respond to quickly to messages. And their friends tend to take priority over everything else.

In fact, doctors don't agree whether people can become addicted to technology. And if technology addiction exists, it's very rare. Hopefully, you're only dealing with a compulsive habit that you can manage by structuring your kids' time. Schedule time for the phone to be off, schedule activities during which the cell phone can't be used, and look into programs that block the phone from being used. If you suspect the problem is true addiction, talk to your pediatrician.

Consider how much time you spend looking at your phone, too. Make sure you're setting a good example at home by moderating your own technology use. And it's always a good idea to invite your child to do something together that doesn't involve screens.

The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at