It’s a highly debated topic: are phones and tablets harmful to a child’s mental health? He is at the forefront of this subject and is advocating for parents to significantly cut their children’s screen time.
One of the most interesting facts about addiction is that it isn’t limited to drugs and alcohol. Dr. Nicholas Kardaras is one of the foremost addiction specialists in the country. He has taught addiction treatment, human behavior, psychopathology, and neuropsychology. In addition to teaching, he has presented workshops and presentations around the world on mental health and addiction.
Glow Kids, Addiction Through Technology?
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In the book, he examines children’s interactions with screen technology. He analyzes the negative impacts technology can have on a child’s brain through results found in clinical studies and brain imaging. Excessive use of interactive and hyper-active screens have a profound impact on a developing brain. Addresses the psychological, sociological, cultural, and economic factors involved in this global tech epidemic. What effects are these shiny screens having on children?
Glow Kids on HLN
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras appeared on HLN, to talk about the points and observations he makes in Glow Kids. Terms like “digital heroin” and “electric cocaine” have been thrown around to describe the over-use of technology. Kids who are excessively exposed to screen time can end up with a brain dysfunction that parallels drug addiction. Clinical and brain imaging research shows that excessive screen usage impacts a child neurologically and clinically in the same manner that drugs impact the brain.
Brain imaging research has shown that excessive screen usage shrinks the frontal cortex of the brain. The frontal cortex is known as the executive function of the brain, and it controls impulsivity. Impulsivity is correlated to ADHD and drug addiction, and excessive screen usage is showing the same results.
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras Solution
The doctor is pro-technology. The problem, he states, is the age of exposure. As he says, children are developmentally fragile and their brains are still developing. Hence, a child before the recommended age shouldn’t interact excessively with certain types of technology — in this case, tablets and smartphones. Tablets and smartphones have interactive and hyper-arousing screens, and these types of screens seem to be the factor in early exposure.
What’s the recommended age? He believes the age of 10 is the marker because studies have mainly shown negative results in children younger than 10.
The Use Of Technology In Public Schools
Technology in schools is part of the problem. Technology aiding education is a common thing, but Dr. Kardaras states that parents can opt out of the use of technology. They can tell the school that their children won’t be using technology in the classroom, as the use of tablets in the classroom negatively affects children. If they need more help, parents should look into additional family resources.
In Glow Kids, the doctor talks about how schools have created a false narrative about how technology in the classroom enhances education. He states that there are numerous studies to suggest otherwise. They have shown that there are no benefits to technology in education and a child’s ability to learn. But, as he illustrates, exposing a child to interactive screens is actively harmful. This is how the school system is negatively impacting children’s mental health.
How To Stop Your Child From Excessive Screen Time
Dr. Kardaras believes in weaning children off their screen time. The screen time must gradually decrease and be replaced with other activities, such as sports, nature emersion, or reading. When the child is weaned off, he or she can then be taught how to use technology, like a desktop computer, for healthy purposes like research and writing.
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