You’re letting your Child get addicted… and you don’t know it! (Part 2)

Recent studies show that an average adult spends 12.5 hours a day on a digital devices. Children can’t be too far behind this figure! This 12.5 hours spent on the device has to come from somewhere, right? Research shows that it comes from (i) family talk time (ii) social practice (iii) sleep (iv) physical activity.

Because kids (and let’s be honest, we adults too) are hooked on to our devices we don’t talk as a family anymore. Yet, this is the time when a child / adolescent develops the basic sense of who they are at the core. It’s the place where intimacy is developed, difficult conversations shared, conflicts resolved and so on. It is the framework for how later relationships will be developed. Therefore, if children and adolescents do not experience this family time, it will impact their later relationships. No amount of 2-day skill building training can re-establish this foundation! So, why would you handicap your child this way?

Social practice are events when children meet with other children and family members of all ages and learn to talk, laugh, play, interact, experience emotions and resolve difficult emotions and situations. The key development theme in these settings is that one can make mistakes or a complete fool of oneself, and life goes on – one is still loved and accepted. A child learns to live through awkward moments and realizes that life does not end. Children and teenagers who are hooked on devices miss out on these embodied connections and experiences, which are so essential for developing a healthy sense of self and wellbeing at a psychological and physiological level.

In terms of physical activity it’s easier for parents to keep young ones occupied with a device rather than give them an opportunity to play (or for parents to play with their kids?).

Extended usage of these devices into sleep time is another danger! Studies show that the ‘blue light’ from these devices puts a strain on the retina and eyes are ageing prematurely. Interacting with device screens encourages one’s body to release endorphins that boost mood and therefore play havoc with getting good sleep. Video games at night boost cortisol and adrenaline that lead to heightened alertness and awareness, which quickly turns to a sense of agitation. Not the best frame of mind for anyone to sleep in!

But all is not lost! Wherever you or/and your child are at now in terms of digital attachment or addiction, there are interventions that you can do to make the situation better, and bring about a qualitative difference in your engagement and relationship within your family…

Conclusion – next week! (part 3) Effective interventions for Parents to minimize the effect of digital addiction on their children and family.

 

Conclusion – next week! (part 3) Effective interventions for Parents to minimize the effect of digital addiction on their children and family.

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