Is technology affecting your child’s mental health?


7
Is technology affecting your child's mental health

As you are well aware that using the latest technology can help you to reach whatever you want in life if used properly. That is why it is said that technology has many benefits when used responsibly but it is also seen that some people are saying that technology is affecting your child’s mental health. Below are the 3 main benefits of using technology:-

  • To connect with others
  • Find answers to questions
  • To help improve productivity

Is technology affecting your child’s mental health?

Do you know that now a day the rates of depression rise in children and teens?

Screens and social media are negatively affecting our child’s well-being and day to day behavior. This is a very serious matter and we all as their parents must do something tricky to save the future of our children. Technology is affecting your child’s mental health.

It’s easy to blame feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety among teens to increased tech use, but it’s rarely just one culprit.

We all should explore the connection between technology and mental health – and try to safeguard our children and teens for living healthy and balanced digital habits.

The rise of loneliness in an age of connection

A 2018 study of adults by health insurer Cigna found that loneliness has reached “epidemic levels” in the U.S. – and that young adult is more lonely and in poorer health than the elderly.

It is mostly seen that anxiety and depression affect the physical and mental health of an individual being. Many people are surprised to learn loneliness can have the same effect. One study found that loneliness has a similar impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes each day.

People are using wired for connection because they think that without connections, they will feel lonely.

Another study found that without making the connection the worst effect is that it can eventually make us feel depressed, and then we run the risk of premature death.

Is technology at fault?

Technology is certainly contributing to or intensifies existing feelings, but it’s more important to teach our children the importance of healthy and balanced tech habits and maintain good communication with your children, instead of banning all technology use.”

What is the basic cause of loneliness nowadays?

“The cause of loneliness is the excess use of smartphones.” –WittyWinks

The cause of loneliness is the excess use of smartphones

Yes! It is absolutely true that the cause of loneliness is the excess use of smartphones or technology. Because people are busy reading and sending messages, sending or receiving online wishes on their birthday, anniversaries or on their achievements instead of meeting their friends or family.

This creates the gap in their relationships, love, and bonding with each other. It also creates health issues in children or teens like depression, early aging etc. Also, Too Much Screen Time May Be Damaging Children’s Eyesight.

To improve mental health, teach good digital health

Technology can offer many benefits – but it depends on how you use it or how you live with technology.

If we use it to reach out and connect with others or to discover and learn something new, then those are great, productive uses of social media and technology, But when we become a passive audience to news feeds and posts, it can create negative feelings, including those of loneliness and depression.

To help avoid or minimize feelings of loneliness, stress or anxiety, it is recommended in studies that we must teach our children three important aspects of digital health:

1. Digital hygiene to improve mental health

Do you know that teen or our children who use technology for more than an hour or two a day are more likely to report feeling depressed, lonely or anxious? That’s one of many reasons why setting boundaries and limits on technology can go a long way in helping children form a healthy relationship with technology.

It’s important for parents to set an example before their children by putting their phones away while dining or watching serials, and that can be really hard. Because, if the rule is no phones at dinnertime, then parents should also put their phones away, or teens may not respect the rule.

Parents should work together with their children or teens to collaboratively set rules. “Parents ultimately have the final say, but when parents and teens come together to develop rules, expectations, and consequences, then teens are more likely to understand and follow those rules.

To avoid worse effects due to the excess use of technology parents should discuss the following rules with their children or teens:

  • Establish a “daily rule” for “no phone” time. For this, you can include dinnertime and before and during bedtime
  • You can also limit technology by replacing or balancing it with non-tech activities
  • Try a tech-free day. For this, pick a day during the week that works best for your family and try putting phones away for a solid 24 hours. This will strengthen family bonding and also it will help in healthy living
  • Remember if you are following above rules, take tech gadgets out of the bedroom

Research has shown that technology can disrupt sleep. Keep TVs, phones, tablets, and laptops out of bedrooms to promote better sleep, which can ultimately help reduce feelings of sadness and anxiety.

2. Digital etiquette to improve mental health

Almost every parent teaches their children how to be polite by saying please and thank you and to use basic manners when talking to people face to face or over the phone. It should also be done with online behavior.

Do you know that “digital etiquette” can help children avoid and recognize cyberbullying? Digital etiquette can also help them in what they should do if they spot it among their friends. An example of good digital etiquette is teaching your child to use mockery carefully or not at all.

Also, not every message, comment, or text requires a response – at least not immediately and especially not when angry. Refraining from responding immediately is a skill to be learned and practiced, and parents can help their child build this skill over time.

Learning to use good digital etiquette can help your child maintain healthy connections with people in person and online, thereby decreasing the chance of feeling rejected and lonely.

3. Digital safety to improve mental health

Digital safety is another important aspect of digital health. It is about how to be safe online.  Remember, no matter how mature your child or teen is, they are not immune to making decisions that could put them in risky or potentially dangerous situations.

Some ground rules for online behavior include never meeting anyone in-person that they’ve met online, not sharing personal information and identifying sites that children are allowed to visit.

Establish open communication for emotional health to improve mental health.

Beyond teaching digital health, one of the best things parents can do to encourage good mental health is to create open lines of communication with their children or teen at home. Parents must establish open communication using these tips:

1. Check in often

Connecting with children can be as simple as asking about their day during family dinnertime or scheduling a special date or time on the weekend. If you are spending time together, you can have the opportunity to learn a little more about what’s going on with their teen or child, and it helps show the child that parents are available to talk when they need them.

2. Validate feelings

If your child tells you they feel lonely, respond with supporting statements like “I’m sorry you feel that way. How can I help?” Avoid the temptation to dismiss feelings by saying things such as “You have plenty of friends. You shouldn’t feel lonely.”

3. Get help if you’re concerned about your child

“Few people seek help for mental health problems,” Dr. Westers says. “About one in five children and adolescents experience depression, but more than half go untreated. The same goes for anxiety disorders – not everyone gets help or sticks to their treatment plan. Treatment is important because it can improve outcomes now and later in life.”

Adolescents can be moody and it’s hard for parents to know when children’s feelings are normal for their age and when there’s cause for concern,” he says. “Parents should trust their instincts and call a professional if they’re worried. A psychologist can look at the bigger picture and help identify if there is a bigger issue at play or if a child is experiencing a typical range of emotions.”

I hope this byte-sized information about the disadvantages of using technology in excess by our children and teens, is worth to read.

If you think so, please do share with your friends and family to protect their children or teens by spreading the awareness about the uses of technology.

Thanks for reading.

 

Disclaimer: WittyWinks.ComSouthern does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on this website and blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided within this article is intended for general consumer information and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Like it? Share with your friends!

7
Great Paul

A Blogger with a passion to do something new everyday. I believe in self learning and teaching selflessly. Having a business of Multitasking with an experience of 10+ years in Information Technology.