What Every Katy Parent Should Know About This Fast Growing Addiction and the Changes Forming in Your Child's Brain.
KATY MAGAZINE l MARCH 2019
By April Carroll
Candy Crush, Snap Chat, Instagram, Fortnight, and YouTube--just a few of the digital distractions impacting Katy Kids. And digital addiction is not just for older kids, a study by Psychology Today shows kids ages 2-5 are spending 32 hours a week watching TV, videos, or playing games. Kids ages 8-12 are spending six hours a day with a screen, and teenagers are spending a nine hours a day on a digital device, aside from school work. In many Katy families, those numbers are actually much higher.
While no age group is immune from developing an addiction to their devices, in children it is particularly dangerous because of their young age and the brain changes that happen when they are on their devices.
"A compulsive need to use your digital devices, to the extent where it interferes with your life and stops you from doing things you need to do. "
How Much is Too Much?
Although there are too many factors to consider when determining how much is too much screen time, any amount that interferes with basic needs, like getting enough sleep, could indicate an addiction. Wireless technology safety website, Wireless Education, defines digital addiction as “a compulsive need to use your digital devices, to the extent where it interferes with your life and stops you from doing things you need to do."
If kids are skipping homework assignments, forgetting to do chores, abandoning other activities, in place of gaming and screen time, this is definitely problematic.
Don't Ignore Warning Signs
It's easy for busy Katy parents to look the other way and ignore key warning signs, but here are some questions you should be asking yourself, according to Psychology Today.
It is hard for my child to stop using screen media?
When my child has had a bad day, does screen time seem to be the only thing that helps him/her feel better?
Does my child’s screen media use causes problems for the family?
Does the amount of time my child wants to use screen media keep increasing?
Does my child sneak and using screen media?
Other signs like isolating, not being able to stop when asked, or dropping friends and activities for their game or device are also warning signs. Parents who see any of these signs are advised to take action and set stricter limits on your child's usage.