Screenagers is a great film for coParents to learn about kids and their current addiction to technology. As a doctor, I urge all parents to go view this film and also study the signs that show an addiction.
coParents should go and see this film with your preteen or teen if you haven’t already seen it. For those in Los Angeles, It is being screened free of charge at private and some public schools.
Why does a preteen or teen want a smartphone – he or she says because all their friends have them. The parent says all the teen’s friends do nothing but spend time together or alone looking at their phones. This is not appropriate social behavior.
In 2015, 68 percent of kids have smartphones! Now imagine the percentage in 2017! Kids take phones to school and are not engaged in class and if a kid without a smartphone sits next to one with a smartphone, then they too will not be engaged in learning. New York schools have paid cell storage units that are required for every child to deposit his/her cellphone before entering school! Just like a coat check system with a number for pick up.
The adolescent brain is sensitive to experiences. Self control resides in the prefrontal cortex. Teaching is needed for teens for strong self-control. Teens can’t stop using their smartphones. “I’d be cool with a smartphone and I could look busy in awkward social situations.”
Here is some interesting information about tech addiction:
- Kids are terribly distracted by these devices. They are lacking the conversational skills where they need to be empathic.
- Boys are more drawn to video games and spend 11.3 hours per week on gaming. Examples are violent games like Grand Theft Auto – the film showed one boy who used the game all the time, he put other things aside, cried if he couldn’t play, got violent and craves it.
- Violent video games change aspects of how kids see the world – there’s an increase in aggression in thoughts and action. Keep violent video games out of your home!
- Kids should be involved in after school programs that are sports or creativity related.
- Girls use social media differently than boys – girls worry how pretty they are, how many “likes” they get for their look, post tons of photos… how you look for girls is a big problem in society.
- Girls are texting photos of themselves in bras and in compromising shots – followed by depression and shaming. The photos go all over social media, even if the boy who asked for them promises not to show the photos.
- Too much involvement with social media takes take away from homework, decreases in grades are noted and teens need parental monitoring.
- There’s a digital divide in how are computers used because use of technology is stressed in schools.
Now there is a new addiction – Tech addiction hours and hours of gaming after school, there appears to be more dopamine in brain’s reward centers and the addiction process begins.
There is the RESTART REHAB CENTER for tech addicted kids to go to this rehab facility from 45-90 days to detox. There is no access to digital technology. Kids exercise, eat good food, have positive activities that are socially formatted to engage with others and the kids get good sleep. Tech addiction is a process addiction not a substance addiction. It is harder to remove process addiction.
Author Judith Bin-Nun, Ph.D. MA, LMFT, LPCC, Child Development Specialist, Educator, Artist. Her resume details include: Ph.D Clinical Child Psychology, LMFT, LPCC, MA Jewish Education, MA Psychology, MA Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, BA Cum Laude UCLA, Lifetime California Standard Teaching Credential K-9, BJE Principal’s License, APT Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor. Services: Play Therapy, Individual or Couples Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Anger Management, Attachment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Eclectic and Spiritually Based Therapy, Behavior Therapy (CBT), Educational Consultation, Parent Guidance, Recreational Therapy – Studio Art and Cooking Therapy Groups, Social Skills Therapy, Social Skills work for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Couples and Family Counseling, Individual and Family Work.