The over use of screen time is creating a new drug of choice that our kids are in danger of getting hooked on – digital heroine and, its starting from birth.

WA-based psychologists are being inundated by requests for help from parents who are unwittingly kickstarting their children’s perilous journey from innocence to addiction by opening the gateway to addiction behaviours typically experienced by illicit drug users such as social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming and aggression.

Current stats show that in Australia 1 in 10 university students are addicted while teenagers are most at risk.

How is this happening? Allowing kids excessive exposure to screen time e.g. television, internet, smart phones, iPods and iPads, and video games re-wires their brains giving them an immediate dopamine high mimicking the cycle of full blown drug and alcohol dependence such that their brains prefer the instant gratification to real world experiences.

So, how do you help your kids unplug from screen time and get them on a daily detox?

1) Practice what you preach! Model appropriate screen time habits. 2) Get your children moving; physical activity and real time interaction. 3) Screen free zones and times; no screens at the dinner table, bedrooms and cars, 4) Central overnight charging station for the whole family 5) Teach your child how to self-regulate; basic meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

But technology addiction addiction is not reserved for children and teenagers. Adults are also suffering which is having dire ramifications on their personal and working lives. Stay tuned for our next blog on technology addiction at work.

For more information email us or call to speak to one of our mental health specialists in Technology Addiction for children and adults – hello@reinventionconsulting.com.au

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