Warning Signs Your Child is At Risk With Technology

577134-7e5bccd2-ead4-11e3-bb45-046f3d36ad52This past weekend, two twelve-year old girls stabbed their friend 19 times to prove themselves to “Slenderman,” the fictional leader of a ghoulish website devoted to horror stories. The event has officials calling for closer parental supervision of children’s technology use.
Here are warning signs that your child is a risk with technology:

  • A child asks to use technology as soon as he or she gets home from school.
  • Anytime there’s a transition in the car or some other downtimes a child wants technology. They can’t tolerate” boredom or anxiety when not occupied with technology.
  • A child becomes negative and belligerent when apparent attempt to limit text use.
  • The child begins sneaking and lying about both using it and the content
  • A child looses touch with reality- their life is all about the virtual world and not the real world- so what they discuss more than 50% of the time is virtual.
  • A child begins working around the control systems that a parents house on devices to keep their access hidden
  • A child develops a tolerance and needs more and more technology to have the same amount of gratification.
  • A child’s adrenaline rises when they’re involved in a technological game.
  • You can almost see a child’s heart racing when involved in technology that is destructive and monopolizing their life. In fact, some children literally develop a sweat from the excitement and racing heart.
  • A child will repeatedly barter for more tech use as a way to be rewarded for chores or other activities that they don’t want to do
  • A child hides what they are doing and lies repeatedly
  • A child is sneaking technology
  • He or she uses it exclusively with one or two friends, almost in a pack mentality

How you can curb your child’s technology overuse:

  • Always have access to your child’s passwords and do random checks
  • Norton utilities
  • Check all content against common sense media recommendations
  • Assume nothing about what’s off limits- children can access the worst online and parents are responsible for monitoring
  • Partner with co-parent and work together
  • Homework has to be done in common areas because of tech use
  • No tech in closed rooms like bedroom
  • No tech at others houses unless sits monitored
  • No smart phone that is unmonitored
  • Watch for change in behavior listed above and also with withdrawal, decreased interest in other things, sole focus on one game, increased anxiety in absence of tech obsessed game -if any of this is present remove all tech immediately and get help.