Staying Away From The Screens: Reducing Negative Technology Use In Youth

Most families have accepted digital technology into their homes, but many parents are unaware of how to use it wisely. There are multiple mental and physical effects of negative technology use in youth that parents should be concerned about.

Today children are learning how to do multiple skills through a screen, but how is that affecting other skills they need to learn without one? A recent article by NPR offers help in how to reduce negative technology use in youth.

Melanie Hempe, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Families Managing media in Charlotte, N.C., says she is concerned that negative technology use in youth can lead to isolation, rather than bringing together parents and kids both emotionally and physically. It also takes away from activities that are shown to benefit youth’s bodies and brains, like playing outside or reading a book. NPR offers these guiding principles for parenting and reducing negative technology use in youth.

  1. Be aware that not all tech is the same. Rather than making rules based strictly on screen time, figure out what youth are actually doing when they’re using technology. If they are doing something productive or that will benefit them like homework or reading an article, limiting this may not be necessary. If they are playing games that are beneficial or following a celebrity Instagram account it may be helpful to limit the amount of time they’re spending.
  2. Consider the role tech plays in your family life. If you feel like your family has become isolated due to technology, it may be time to institute a family event or gathering that doesn’t include technology. Try incorporating a family game or movie night that is done together, rather than everyone doing the event while also being on their phone.
  3. Model good behavior, online and off. Be a good role model for your children by reducing your own negative technology use. Showing them that you can put down your phone or computer to spend time doing other things will help reduce negative technology use in youth.

If you are concerned about negative technology use in your child, there are programs available that can help.

Asheville Academy Can Help

Asheville Academy, a residential treatment center in a traditional school setting for girls 10-14, helps teen girls struggling with anxiety, depression and other emotional and behavioral issues. If your daughter is struggling with negative technology use, consider sending her to Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school. With a caring staff and a clinically based program, Asheville Academy can help your daughter find success.

For more information about Asheville Academy, contact us today at 800.264.8709.