Educational Articles

Should Parents Feel Guilty For Allowing Screen Time?

Parenting in the modern day.

An increasing amount of parents have transitioned to working from home as a result of the current COVID-19 lockdowns, and we have seen children spending more time at home than ever before. With this, there is a natural need for entertaining restless young ones, especially when parents are still trying to work and run households successfully. The six-hour productivity window that childcare centres and schools provided all but disappeared for a couple of months, as lockdown restrictions tightened.

While we are seeing restrictions slowly ease across the nation, families are learning that it’s hard to try and keep children entertained without resorting to screens and technology. There’s also an element of parent-guilt associated with allowing children to use screens.

“Parents need to stop thinking about screen time in a negative way,” says Dr. Jenny Radeski M.D., a paediatrician and expert on children and media at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. In the current day, children are not just using screens to play video games and watch cartoons — they are, in fact, using them to connect virtually with their teachers, school friends and extended family members.

It is recognised that screen addiction has the ability to change the brain, but so does every other activity that children engage in. From sleep and homework, to sports and reading; there are a multitude of mediums that alter the way a child’s brain works — both positively and negatively. Children of today are using screens as a means to communicate, socialise and learn — all of which are of utmost importance in an isolated society, and contribute positively to a child’s emotional development.

Many parents are already aware of the biggest downside of screen usage: the way it can interrupt other childhood experiences like sleep, playing outside, creative time and getting into mischief. But it’s more about creating healthy boundaries as opposed to setting specific time limits or recommendations. Dr. Radeski has called for a reduction in the promotion of common screen time recommendations, stating that every child is different in their needs, and the enforcement of such standards allows room for parental guilt and shame.

As long as your child is not on a device all day, they’ll be fine.

If you have any questions about children and technology, get in contact with Kasia by emailing hello@kasiapalko.com.au.

Sources: Cheng, E. R. & Wilkinson, T. A. (2020). Agonizing Over Screen Time? Follow The Three C’s. NY Times.; Carey, B. (2018). Is Screen Time Bad For Kids Brains? NY Times.

Kasia Palko™ Pty Ltd Announcements

Behavioural Therapy for Children During COVID-19

It’s so important to ensure our children are getting the support they need; now more than ever.

My Behavioural Therapy services will keep running in order to continue to provide support for families and children during this difficult time, as it is evident that many children are suffering undue stress, which can cause behavioural, psychological and emotional issues.

To keep families safe and avoid further distress, I will also be offering my Behavioural Therapy services via Skype and FaceTime for those who are self-isolated and practicing social distancing.

Considering the financial strain of the current climate, I am waiving my initial consultation fee of $195 for new clients and reducing all Behavioural Therapy sessions from $159 down to $119. I want to ensure that my services are accessible for everyone, so if this amount is still an issue for you, please get in touch and let me know. My priority is always to help children navigate through difficult times, no matter what, and this priority will remain no matter what happens in the future.

If your child is spending more time at home and struggling to adapt, my holistic and intuitive play-based therapy can assist in utilising your child’s creativity, imagination and inner-will to formulate a plan that will help them thrive, no matter the environment.

Have some questions about whether Behavioural Therapy is right for your child? Send me an email at hello@kasiapalko.com.au and we can arrange a time to discuss your specific needs further.

Kasia Palko™ Pty Ltd Announcements

Educational Care for Sunshine Coast Families

At home care for children who are practicing social distancing.

In light of current events, I am starting up my Educational Care services again to help support Sunshine Coast families through this time.

To keep things in accordance with government guidelines, I will be offering at-home care for children whose parents are unable to stay home due to work responsibilities.

My enriching and enchanting Educational Care offers age-appropriate creative and imaginative play, as well as fun activities that help children develop and socialise in their own environment.

I have reduced my usual rate to $25 per hour, and am available as much or as little as needed. If you have any questions about my Educational Care services, please send an email to hello@kasiapalko.com.au and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you don’t need care for your own family, but know someone that might, it would be great if you could pass on information about my services to them. I really want to support as many people as I possibly can throughout this time. 

I hope you are all well and are finding ways to manage this current climate as best as you possibly can.

Kasia Palko™ Pty Ltd Announcements

COVID-19

A word from Kasia.

It’s important to prioritise coming together as a collective community in this time of uncertainty. By leaving room for fear and doubt to effect your mind and body, you are allowing them to be a detriment to your psychological and physiological wellbeing.

Stress, worry and fear attack your immune system, which leaves you in a compromised position, thus more susceptible to illness.

Focusing on nourishing routines, adapting to change and making room for new opportunities is the only way to move ahead. What lessons can we learn from this crisis? How can we come together as a collective community to overcome it all? These are the things you must focus your energy on.

Please get in touch if you feel like your family could use extra support at this time. We are still operating as normal and are welcoming in new clients as they come.

Kasia Palko™ Pty Ltd Educational Articles

Art Therapy: Effects on Health, Wellbeing and Development

Improving health through art?

Children’s involvement in arts activities are considered ‘multimodal interventions’; in that they combine different components that are known to be beneficial to health and wellbeing.

Arts activities can involve aesthetic engagement, utilisation of imagination, sensory activation, evocation of emotion and cognitive stimulation. Art activities may also involve social interaction, physical activity, and engagement and interaction within a therapeutic setting.

When performed, arts activities can engage and trigger psychological, physiological, social and behavioural responses that are linked with positive health outcomes. For example: when children are painting, sculpturing or doing crafts, there is an aesthetic and emotional component to their work that provides opportunities for emotional expression and emotional regulation, as well as stress reduction. These are intrinsic to how we manage our mental health.

Art can also make children view obstacles differently, as there is no “wrong answer” to creativity. Such an attitude can play a large role in providing a sense of optimism for a child — not to mention the feeling of accomplishment upon the completion of an artistic task — both of which are essential to building confidence within children.

The benefits of cognitive stimulation when a child is engaged in the arts can provide opportunities for learning, creative thinking and skill development. The social aspects of artistic interaction with other children can involve positive relations with peers, and participating in the arts can also improve a child’s self-esteem, self-beliefs, and reduce feelings of loneliness and experiences of discrimination, which are linked with future mental illness and other conditions such as depression, chronic pain and headaches.

In terms of the physical: the arts can reduce a child’s sedentary behaviours, associated with obesity, depression and chronic pain in adult life, and can also encourage health-promoting behaviours such as eating healthy food and experimenting with play.

If you would like to discuss incorporating arts activities into your child’s routine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can send an email to hello@kasiapalko.com.au, and you can also find us on Facebook.

Sources: Catterall, J. & Peppler, K.A. (2007, December). Learning in the visual arts and worldview of young children. Cambridge Journal of Education , 37(4); World Health Organization. (2019). Health Evidence Network synthesis report 67. What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review the WHO European region.; Greenspan, S. I. (2002). The secure child: Helping our children feel safe and confident in a changing world. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.