With the long stretch of school holidays just around the corner, it may be time to be aware of the signs of screen addiction. A recent study by the University of Michigan says parents shouldn’t worry so much about how long kids are on their screen, but how they are using them.
“Typically, researchers and clinicians quantify or consider the amount of screen time as of paramount importance in determining what is normal or not normal or healthy or unhealthy,” said lead author Sarah Domoff. “Our study has demonstrated that there is more to it than number of hours. What matters most is whether screen use causes problems in other areas of life or has become an all-consuming activity.”
Some of the warning signs include: if screen time interferes with daily activities, causes conflict for the child or in the family, or is the only activity that brings the child joy. Kids who use media in unhealthy ways have problems with relationships, conduct and other emotional symptoms, Domoff said.