Newsletter Subscription

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

Subscribe!

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Unsubscribe

Blog Archives

View full Archive

Proudly Supporting

Proudly Supporting

Internet Addiction in Children - Is the Blame Game Helpful?

By Susan Whelan - 30th November 2011

This week there have been several articles in the media about the Network for Internet Investigation and Research in Australia . The team of experts behind the website are hoping to use it to provide information and support relating to internet addiction and obsessive behaviour associated with the use of computers and computer games. They are also seeking acknowledgement of ‘pathological internet misuse’ as a real and diagnosable mental disorder.

For me, the articles offered several starting points for meaningful discussion:

  • the impact of time spent online;
  • importance of games ratings and content awareness,
  • consideration of what types of games or activities and what types of personalities are most likely to result in addictive behaviour,
  • strategies and techniques for parents to help their children develop healthy online habits; and
  • access to statistics and research

are the ones that first come to my mind.

      Consideration of internet misuse as a medical condition leads to debate of what support services and intervention facilities could be made available to those diagnosed with such a disorder.

Sadly, when I read the comments following the articles, the discussion was not centred on ways to develop positive computer habits and to diagnose and help those with harmful behaviours linked to internet usage. Instead, there was an immediate rush to blame lax and undisciplined parents, lazy and rebellious children, harmful computer games and/or a denial that this issue is one of any significance beyond a need for parents to impose stricter controls on the availability of ‘screen time’ for their children.

Technology is developing at a frantic pace. The parenting issues my mother faced regarding my access to computer games (my best friend’s Atari system and my beloved Snoopy Tennis game) are a world away from the issues I now face with my own three children; our children use interactive whiteboards at school, computers and game consoles at home and simply accept that technology will play a role in most of their everyday activities at home, school and in their community.

        It is easy to judge parents whose children are not developing balanced and healthy relationships with the technology that surrounds them

- to do so might help us to feel a little better about our own parenting successes and failures. But the name calling, accusations and superiority don’t help those children and teens who are struggling to remain connected to a world beyond their computer or those parents who feel overwhelmed by the technology that their children adapt to so readily.

I consider myself fortunate that my children are developing healthy attitudes towards technology and the internet. I take some credit, but I also know that I am blessed with three children who don’t have addictive personalities and who have always responded well to being given opportunities to play a part in developing their own boundaries. My children are still young however (7, 10 and 12), and I am not naïve enough to think that I wouldn’t benefit from access to information and strategies relating to computers and technology in the future.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the Network for Internet Investigation and Research in Australia and I remain hopeful that it will achieve its aim to provide families and medical professionals with the information and tools they need to ensure that the positive benefits of computers and the internet are not undermined by harmful and obsessive behaviour patterns.

image freedigitalimages.net Panpote

Member Login

Subscribe to our Blog