Before getting treatment for screen addiction ask yourself if there isn’t a better answer.
IF you’re worried about either yourself or your kids time on the computer or TV, use the three techniques below. They’re better than any treatment for screen addiction.
Last week the fantastic journalist Jane Brody published an article on NY Times titled “Screen Addiction is Taking a Toll on Children”. It struck a nerve with parents around the world. The article went viral and drummed up nearly 700 comments in next to no time.
What got all those parents fired up is the fact that screen addiction is a very real and very common problem among children and teens.
Screen addiction and computer game addiction in China has taken an alarming turn and is highly relevant to American parents whose children spend hours of time focusing on a screen. And it’s left parents desperate for an effective treatment for screen addiction.
In China screen addiction is considered a clinical disorder. There are many rehabilitation centers around China that are dedicate to helping children and teens overcome screen addiction. Their draconian therapy sees the patients completely isolated from all media.
Here at home screen addiction is not considered a clinical disorder. But it’s still a serious problem. It starts early in a child’s life, with many preverbal toddlers playing with their parents’ phones and tablets.
In 2013 he American Academy of Pediatrics published a statement on “Children, Adolescents, and the Media,” in which they state, “The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children and teenagers spend more than 11 hours per day.” TV still comes up tops, but computers, phones, and tablets follow closely behind.
Screen addiction is seriously detrimental to health. Integrative Child Psychologist Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D., says, “Addressing screen-time provides more robust benefits than any other intervention. I’ve been prescribing strict several week-long “electronic fasts” for about 15 years now, and it’s often the missing link in successful treatment.”
But if we’re honest, completely stopping screen time for an entire week is far from easy. “Screens and parenting become a vicious cycle: bad behavior in a child prompts exhausted parents to “escape” with devices, which leads to reduced interaction and more electronic babysitting, which leads to overstimulation and more bad behavior, and so on,” says Dunckley.
Here are 3 Practical and healthy types of treatment for screen addiction in kids.
Educate yourself and your kids.
The very best treatment for screen addiction is education.
The more you and your kids understand about the effects of screen time, the more motivated you’ll be to reduce those hours. Most parents don’t actually read through the relevant studies on the matter. Once you truly grasp precisely why screen time is so important, you will definitely find yourself being more diligent of both yours and your kids screen time.
- Understanding the difference between interactive and passive screen time: Watching TV and playing video games are not the same thing. Psychologically speaking they’re completely different beasts. Interaxctive screen time is more stimulating, more addictive, and more likely to cause behavioural changes. Educational screen activities have just as serious an affect as watching mindless TV shows.
- Understand the benefits of limited screen time: Cutting down screen time leads to many amazing benefits. They include: better blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobe, reduction in disruptive behaviours, better moods, and more compliance
These are simple and healthy treatments for screen addiction and they will work. They are a lot better than traditional treatment for screen addiction.
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