Inside Out – Toxic Screens – Melanie Hempe – 05/31/23

Inside Out – Toxic Screens – Melanie Hempe – 05/31/23

Your Child’s Addiction to Toxic Screens 

Research supports what many parents already know: toxic screens are hurting their children’s mental health.

Melanie Hempe, a retired RN and founder of the not-for-profit ScreenStrong, works with families to eliminate childhood screen dependency.

Video games, social media, and pornography are the most problematic. “They structurally will change the brain and increase the dopamine in your kid’s brain,” Hempe says, “and this sets your child up for addiction now and in the future.”

They also displace time children need for developing social and life skills. Screens, and especially video games, will detach our kids from their family,” she adds. “So it’s the saddest, most lasting part of the story: the game becomes their family and you lose your kids, and that’s what a lot of families are struggling with today.”

Part of the solution is to limit the temptation. No child needs a smartphone, she asserts. It’s not a rite of passage. A laptop for homework and a talk-and-text phone for communication will cover their needs.

“You are not denying or taking away anything. You are giving them a much bigger life and the freedom to love childhood again. You get your kids back and they love you for loving them so much to choose this counter-cultural path. The bonus is that you are not setting them up for addiction down the road, either.”

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