I’m Tara Taylor. I’m a new therapist at Yurk Counseling Services LLC . As a mother of three, much of my time outside the office is spent raising children. Not all of us will get the chance to become parents; but for those of us that do, our role is rapidly evolving. Parenting has been updated for the 21st century. Cell phones, tablets, computers, smart phones were not available widely when I was growing up. Today children begin using devices at a very early age, and once they do, it can be very hard to stop. Researchers have identified an addictive quality. The beeps, texts, and emojis on our devices are more powerful than we think.
I recently viewed the movie Screenagers by Delaney Ruston, M.D. It chronicles how one family is working through the problem, while also providing research on what all that “screen time” is doing to our brains. I left with some some tips to share for managing screen time in your own home.
- Check out the website screenagersmovie.com for a listing of showings near you. Bring your child to see it. The movie is appropriate for ages 10 and up. I highly recommend it for families with school aged children.
- Start a conversation with your child about their technology usage. Knowing what to say can be difficult. You can sign up for Tech Talk Tuesdays by visiting their site and receive a weekly email with discussion topics.
- Try to be conscious of your own technology use as an adult. Are your kids watching you check work emails at the dinner table? Kids are more likely to adopt good habits if they see you doing it too.
- If you suspect your child’s usage may be problematic, it might be. Some signs to look for are problems with concentration, sleep, and relationships with peers, failing school grades, or giving up activities and frienships they used to enjoy. Some kids become agitated or depressed when forced to put down their devices for even short periods of time.
- Get more support. Technology and devices are not going away. You don’t have to manage this alone. Yurk Counseling Services LLC can help you and your family work through difficult issues. We are here to support your family in developing a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Call our office at (920) 287-0406 to make an appointment. Most insurances are accepted.