This week I want to again focus on the use of electronic devices and also the importance of vigilant behaviour when on-line. Cyber-safety and device management is certainly not a new or ground-breaking topic, but it is one of critical importance that we must keep reflecting on and revising as technology continues to play such a significant role in modern society.
Given that it is still early in the term I know many families (mine included) are probably facing a few challenges returning to regularity and routines after the extended holiday break. Being a parent of a 5-year-old, returning to a more consistent and early bed-time after the holidays has been challenging. For parents of teenagers, no doubt one of the biggest challenges will be scaling back device usage after the holiday break, where due to the absence of other activities such as school and sport, electronic device usage has the ability to rapidly take up a large chunk of the day.
Over the break I read the book iGen: Why Today’s Super Connected Kids are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood, by psychology professor Dr Jean Twenge. The book is rather confronting in some of the statistics that it presents, and also in its discussion relating to the rise of teenagers being required to attend ‘digital detox’ camps (now a growth industry in the USA) in response to digital addiction.
A couple of the key points that I took away, and seek to share with parents are:
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