by Ivan Mathieson

It is difficult to find a parent who doesn’t have something to say about the challenges of managing screen time with their children. As such, it is not surprising that Dr Anthea Rhodes and a team of researchers at the Royal children’s Hospital, has found some concerning statistics on our children’s use of technology. In my work with children and adolescents, I am frequently confronted with the challenge of helping young people or their parents manage problematic use of technology.  In many cases this technology use is a result of the child having other difficulties, but in turn can cause problems behaviourally, emotionally or functionally.  The problems can include irritability, defiance, anxiety, social withdrawal, academic problems, sleep disturbance and procrastination to name a few. I am too often faced with a dilemma where the behaviours are well established or the child is of the age where the parents have less ability to influence their behaviour. As such it is vitally important that parents set clear and consistent limits around technology use from a young age. Furthermore, if you are concerned that your child’s technology use has got out of hand, it is important to address it as soon as possible. In upcoming blog posts I will be providing advice to parents in relation to technology use, and my next blog in this series will cover establishing clear and consistent limits.

For more information on the research conducted at the Royal Children’s Hospital, click here