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The reflexes to adopt so that your children do not become addicted to screens


Like an oasis in the middle of the desert, the screens promise precious minutes of silence and solitude. But beware of the harmful effects on the development of children, as recalled by an Ifop study for the Children's Foundation this Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Insight and advice.

Hypnotized by attractive colors, enticed by easy games, your children are constantly asking to fiddle with the touch screen of a tablet or smartphone.

You, parents won over to these modern tools, are trying as best they can to rationalize their use.

Except that, telework requires, you spent the day in videoconference trying to keep your son out of the field of your camera and you feel that your nerves will not last long.

The temptation is great to lend him your phone, day and night, for example, the time to go have a glass of wine to decompress.

Or let him watch a cartoon to call a friend and rediscover the pleasure of chatting with an adult.

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In video, what are the impacts of screens on children's brains?

But this exposure of children to screens is not without risk.

According to the Ifop barometer on the perception of the impact of digital technology on 0-6 year olds, carried out for the Foundation for Children and unveiled on Wednesday January 1, nine out of ten doctors establish a link between developmental difficulties in young children. and their overexposure to screens.

In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatric Medicine (AAP) was already worried: screens replace or encroach on other essential occupations for the youngest, such as chatting, playing, studying or sleeping.

In France, schools and judicial protection of youth (PJJ) have sought the help of psychologist and family therapist Sabine Duflo to find solutions to the problems caused by screens.

The author of

When screens become neurotoxic: let's protect our children's brains

(1) is categorical: “I observe effects on sleep, memory, relationships with others, as well as delays in language learning”.

How to prevent the youngest from taking bad habits when you are a parent, you work a large part of the day, and you are addicted to screens yourself?

Read alsoHow far to watch your children?

Advice from a psychologist

External actors and parents must regulate the screen consumption of the youngest.


Avoid connections in the morning, during meals and before bedtime

Screens are particularly harmful at certain times of the day.

“Consulted in the morning, they disturb the concentration for the rest of the day, explains Sabine Duflo, accustomed to receiving families in consultation around these subjects.

Another time when disconnection is recommended: meals.

This is one of the moments when the child is in principle the most listened to.

Let's not forget that the quality of language is determined by the exchanges between parents and children.

Finally, being exposed to blue light from a screen before sleeping makes it difficult to fall asleep.

“In a natural environment, the sleep cycle is determined by light.

In the evening, we send a message to the brain when we expose it to a light of this type: we tell it that it is earlier than it really is.

Therefore, it is better to avoid that the child browses on a tablet or a smartphone in his room.

Even if, at almost 8 p.m., you know that it is the promise of an hour of tranquility after another day of juggling between your computer and a notebook.

But keeping control can be tricky when you're working and coming home late – normally, then.

Those who have their toddlers supervised can give instructions to the nanny: number of minutes/hours authorized, formal prohibition at homework time, etc.

In Silicon Valley, providers of software, applications, social networks and others are the first to strictly prohibit their nanny from exposing their offspring to screens.

Some go so far as to have a contract signed to ensure that this rule is respected.

Read alsoLooking for the ideal nanny: questions to ask in the interview

When a parent wants to limit the use of a site, they can do so with just a few clicks

Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, psychologist and psychotherapist

Screenless games: a healthy alternative

Companies now offer alternatives to screens, while allowing children to use electronic tools.

Successful example: Lunii, a site that allows you to choose a hero, a universe, a character, an object, and to listen in 100% audio on a small box to the stories that the young users help themselves to create.

According to Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, psychologist and psychotherapist, “it is very important that external actors and parents make proposals to help regulate screen consumption.

What can be effective, in addition to these screenless games, is to put the applications in gray and white.

It is an option present on smartphones.

They become much less addictive.”

Other actors encourage control, rather than the eradication of screens.

The Xooloo application, tailor-made for parents who wish to remotely regulate the activities of their child(ren), allows them to view the time spent by the latter on a screen or to block certain sites (of a violent nature by example).

Grégory Véret, its co-founder, defends a tool created to teach children to control access to screens, so that they are not slaves to new technologies.

“When a parent wants to limit the use of a site, they can do so with just a few clicks.

The app will be blocked after the specified duration.

Xooloo will also tell him how much time the other children spend on this same site, in order to know if his is in excess, or rather in the average.


Thirty minutes of real presence is better than two hours together with other concerns

Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, psychologist and psychotherapist

The disconnection of children goes through... that of parents

How do you explain to your offspring that it is better for them to drop out… When you have the transplanted smartphone yourself?

Psychologist and psychotherapist Jeanne Siaud-Facchin considers “essential that parents are not on their smartphone when they are with their children.

Otherwise, it will become almost impossible to curb them.”

These, often fine negotiators when they want to connect, will not understand seeing themselves set limits while seeing their parents strumming on their smartphone.

The difficulty: working parents sometimes have to respond to e-mails, messages from a colleague or their boss… “You have to make time for it.

It is better to lock yourself in your room and answer all your messages, then spend time with your family.

Thirty minutes of real presence is better than two hours together with other concerns.

Today, some parents use television to occupy a child.

They take advantage of this time to work, or take care of the house.

With the tablets, we have reached a higher stage of invasion.

These occupy much more living space and mental space because they are mobile.

In video, telework: 8 tips to create moments of breathing

The clinician advises to make pedagogy play its role.

She pleads that “parents try to understand why a young person needs this overconnection.

A child who is not blamed, but to whom the misdeeds of screens are explained, will be much more open.

But above all, she insists, parents must broaden the areas of interest of the youngest.

“You have to give them a taste for reading, playing sports, seeing friends, going to shows.

But also multiply the solicitations, have educational relays (friends, family).

The more we encourage them to vary the activities, the less they need to lock themselves into a screen.

Construction games, plastic arts and books are our allies!


When screens become neurotoxic: let's protect our children's brains

, Sabine Duflo, Marabout editions, 288 pages, €15.90.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2023-02-03

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