EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES

Educational Articles

Building A Healthy Relationship Between Your Child and Technology

It really is possible!

We’ve written before about the feelings of guilt that some parents can experience when allowing their child to use screens, but we thought it would be helpful to write about the process of building a healthy relationship between your child and technology.

Technology is important — it gives our children access to socialisation, education and entertainment. It’s also a vital tool in busy households where one or both parents are working full time and can’t seem to provide their child with the right amount of mental stimulation, while also trying to stay financially afloat.

Dr. Jenny Radeski M.D., a paediatrician and expert on children and media at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital stresses that screen time should not be seen by parents as a negative thing, as long as some consideration is given to the way in which a child interacts and engages with it. She proposes ‘The Three C’s’ framework for modern parenting, focusing on child, content and context.

Understanding that parents know their own children better than anyone else, Dr. Radeski states that they are the best people to decide what media and how much media is the right amount for their child to consume. For example — if you have a particularly anxious child, it’s important to avoid exposure to news media and scary or exciting videos. If your anxious child likes music, find media for them to engage with that involves singing or musical soundtracks.

Quality of content of quantity of content is equally important when it comes to screen time. For younger children, parents should seek content created by reputable sources, like PBS Kids or ABC Kids. Common Sense Media are a great resource for all parents, providing age-based recommendations on all forms of media, such as movies, television, apps and games. Various zoos and aquariums are also offering live camera feeds to entertain and educate children.

When choosing media for your child to consume, research has shown those that mimic real-life at a realistic pace are best for reducing overstimulation and are less likely to trigger attention issues in children. In terms of older children playing video games, it’s important to remember that experts say there is no connotation between video games and violent or destructive behaviour, and instead insist that these technological mediums are paramount in maintaining socialisation for teens and older children.

In terms of context, Dr. Radeski encourages parents to engage with their children during screen time. Show interest to help your child build their self-esteem. Help connect your child’s media use with real world experiences by asking questions about what they are learning or watching. For example, you could watch a cooking video with your child, and then spend an hour or two recreating that recipe as a family.

To avoid conflicts over time allowed on devices and the ways in which they are used, it’s important to create and communicate clear boundaries and stick to them as much as possible. Younger children crave structure more than anything else. Dr. Radeski recommends setting a no-screen rule one hour before bed, as well as one hour after waking, to avoid impacting sleep cycles.

And above all? Practice what you preach.

If you are on your phone all the time, your child will want to mimic that behaviour. Technology is a fantastic resource — but the best memories will always come from real parent-to-child interaction.

If you have any questions about children and technology, or if you need help establishing a family routine around devices, 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.

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.