Technology dominates every facet of our children’s lives from academics and social interactions to leisurely activities.
For some families, technology has shaped their lifestyles to be completely different than generations past. The challenge that most parents face today is finding ways to utilize technology in a manner that is more beneficial and less harmful to their children’s wellbeing. This requires ongoing education, supervision, and communication about safe technology use, and more importantly, recognizing potential warning signs as to when a problem may need intervention with the help of professional therapist.
Research suggests that media has it has its benefits, including exposure to innovative ideas and knowledge, opportunities to strengthen connections with others, and access to a wealth of information to inform decision-making. When the ongoing use of electronics becomes an integral part of children and teens’ lives, it is can sometimes have detrimental effects. Some studies suggest that social networking can bring about feelings of sadness and low self-esteem in teenage girls. It also places children and teens at greater risks for cyber bullying, depression, social anxiety, disrupted sleep, weight gain, and addictive tendencies. In addition, when children and teens isolate themselves by using electronics for hours upon end, they are less dedicated to schoolwork, more susceptible to decreased physical health, and less interested in practicing creative outlets.
If your child spends too much time with electronics and/or has accompanied feelings of sadness, irritability, social anxiety, or low self-esteem, counseling can help children and parents make use of technology in a way that promotes a more balanced lifestyle. Our therapists can help families establish a healthy Family Media Use Plan which can often be a successful tool in realigning media use. Since technology use can be a very powerful force driving dysfunction within the family system, therapy can also help to restore harmony amongst family members.