Whether kids are playing video games or using smartphone apps, there is a growing mountain of evidence suggesting that young boys and girls are exhibiting addictive behavior. Why? Largely because of extensive exposure to (unregulated) screen time.
Whereas adult brains are more developed, children’s brains are susceptible to significant changes in structure and connectivity which can stunt neural development and lead to a screen dependency disorder. Other classifications of screen dependency disorder are:
- Internet gaming disorder
- Problematic internet use
- Compulsive internet use
- Pathological video game use
- Video game addiction
- Pathological technology use
- Online game addiction
- Mobile phone dependence
- Social network site addiction
- Facebook addiction
If you have a child or grandchild, the following symptoms may present themselves if their screen time – especially on the internet and video games – compromises their ability to function.
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Increasing tolerance
- Failure to reduce or stop screen activities
- Loss of outside interests
- Continuation despite negative consequences
- Lying about extent of use
- Use to escape adverse moods
5 Tips for Parents with Children Who Have a Screen Dependency Disorder
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new recommendations for children’s media use and Dr. Lynn’s methods:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Set ground rules early and enforce them by designating media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Stay in the conversation by having ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and
Originally reported by: Health Holistic Living