On Thursday evening, the Parent Association hosted the documentary Screenagers which is about a mother (who is also a medical doctor) grappling with giving her daughter a smart phone for the first time and her sons regular use of playing video games. The documentary explores the challenges the mother and her teenager daughter and son face and also looks at some of the research about what screen time can do adolescents brains and the impact it has.
The documentary highlights the challenges parents face in raising children in the digital era and that there is no easy path in helping children navigate the online world. For the viewing, many parents brought their child along to watch which gave them the opportunity to open up dialogue about screen time at home. There were many key elements that could be taken from the documentary and as a parent/educator myself, I took three key messages from it:
- Open communication about screen time between parent and child is vital to ensure there is a balanced approached to life.
- Parents need to put a critical view on how they use technology themselves.
- Overstimulation through screen time can have a negative affect on the brain’s ability to perform
Children and adolescents who have hobbies and interests outside of online activity are more likely to view social media as a part of life rather than life itself. Like always, a balanced approach is very important.
A special thank you to the Parent Association for hosting and to Monique Stapleton and Veronica Monaci for helping organise the event. For more information on the documentary visit the Screenagers website.
Brendan Kean | Head of Primary