Healing for the Mind, Body, and Spirit

An ongoing series of informational entries

Parenting Strategies

July 2019


Kids and Technology!  Is it really such a good thing?

June, 2019

Parenting can be one of the most rewarding but unfortunately one of the most difficult jobs you will ever do.  Many parents find that they are competing with more stuff today than ever before.  It used to be that kids got older and their friends became more important than their family, but now some don't even have a lot of physical friends, their friends are virtual.  Many don't even want to leave the house for fear that they will miss a video game time, a television show, or will not have access to the internet. If they do go out, they have to have some form of technology to occupy them.  Kids are becoming addicted to technology.  Since 2011, the percentage of kids that own their own tablet devices had increased by 5 times in October 2017.  It is probably more by now.  Kids under 8 years old have gone from 15 minutes per day screen time to 48 minutes per day staring at a mobile screen based on October 2017 data.  No wonder kids have lost the ability to tell reality from fantasy or to recognize social cues of real people.  Parents are finding themselves in a lose-lose, because they give in and give the kids technology devices and then they lose by having to constantly monitor, take it away as consequences, and figure out what to do when their kids are obsessed with technology.  

Below are some facts about kids and technology taken from the TechAddiction website and written by Dr. Brent Conrad.

In a typical day, children consume just over three hours of media. This includes computer use, cell phone use, tablet use, music, and reading. Two thirds of this time is spent with “screen media” (TV, computers, the Internet, etc.) while reading is less than 20 minutes per day.

The time spent with on screen media dramatically increases from the toddler to preschool to school-age years. Children under two have a screen time average of 53 minutes per day. This increases to almost two and a half hours per day among two to four year old and almost three hours for kids in the five to eight year old range.

Although the use of computers, the internet, and electronic devices are steadily increasing among children, television remains the type of media that children spend the most time with. Sixty-five percent of children under eight years old watch television daily. On average, they spend about an hour and a half (100 minutes to be exact) watching TV every day.

As a group, children under eight spend an average of 25 minutes per day playing video games.

66% of all children under the age of two have watched television.

Television watching typically begins at 9 months of age.

Compared to watching television, playing video games starts later, but nearly half of all two to four year olds have played video games. This increases dramatically just a few years later – 81% have played video game console games and 90% use computers.

10% of children under eight years old use educational software and 6% use a computer for homework.

11% of children under eight years old use a cell phone, iPod, or iPad / tablet.

Listening to music actually decreases from birth to age eight. Children up to a year old spend an average of 39 minutes per day listening to music, 30 minutes at ages two to four, and just 23 minutes at ages five to eight.

By age eight, 96% of children have watched TV, 90% have used a computer, 81% have played console video games, and 60% have played games or used apps on a portable device (cell phone, handheld gaming system, iPod, or tablet).

Happy Mother's Day (Not)

May 14, 2019

Mother's Day can be a hard time for a number of reasons. One of the most common is because a person maybe spending their first Mother's Day without their mother. It might be that it's not the first year but it is still a difficult time of the year for those of us who's mothers are no longer here.  

Mother's Day can be tough for those who have been trying for years to become a mother and have not yet gotten their heart's desire.

Lastly, and the least thought about situation is those who have a mother who is still living, however their relationship with their mother is either very strained or nonexistent due to a traumatic childhood at the hands of their mother. It might be that their mother has mental health diagnoses, substance abuse issues, or a number of other situations that we just don't think of during this time of year.   We often forget about how much celebrating a holiday can affect others in such a negative way.  

Even though Mother's Day is over, I want to encourage those of you who have a mother and had a great Mother's Day to remember those who did not.  Maybe you can be a support, offer a kind word, show empathy, be a good listener, or something that would elevate the mood of the person suffering.   This can be done at any time of the year.  Just being cognizant that sometimes there are others who do not feel the way most of the world feels on holidays. This can help the person feel better.  All we have is each other and the kindness and respect we give.