child counseling: social skills, Self esteem, anxiety, behavior, iPhone smartphone Phoenix Arizona

Many parents come to my office weekly with a wide array of challenges: disrespect, poor grades, anxiety, poor self esteem, poor social skills, Bipolar, addiction, depressed mood, defiance, conduct disorder, OCD, Aspergers, autism etc. All of these issues are important for a child, teen and family. Are smart phones the cause of these problems? They may not be the root cause of the problems , however, if your child is spending more than 1,5 hours a day : texting, you tubing, watching TV, playing games on his or her phone, playing  video games on a computer,x box, PS3 , DS player, smartphone, face booking, insta-gramming, snap chatting, TV, texting.. then all the above are more likely to occur.

Electronic devices and games are very addictive and are different than TV. Children and teens are sucked in by psychological principals that keep them attached to their devices. One psychological principle used is partial reinforcement. Children and teens are rewarded for various moves they make and can win rewards that are monetary and visual and auditory and your child is tapping in to many regions of the brain that are giving him or her natural chemicals that keep them playing. Also most children and teens would rather be on an electronic device you tubing or net flixing than doing algebra or an English paper or really most homework.

If your child is sucked into the electronic vortex chances are grades are not great and learning is not optimized. Your teen also is not learning social and interpersonal skills hiding behind the smart phone or computer or video game. Playing Halo online with friends is not “real life communication skills” that are needed for relationships and employment except possibly learning to write. So it is a very limited type of communication.

If your child is on electronics most of the day chances there relationship with family is suffering. Family communication is not optimized. It is important to learn face to face communication skills with family for healthy and happy relationships.

If your child or teen is in his or her room most of the day and night chances are he or she is not getting the needed sleep for a teen that is 9-10 hours a night. If your child is not getting adequate sleep he or she will be irritable and angry and unfocused in class. Your child may sleep in class and not be able to pay attention to the teacher as well. Relationships will go South and so will grades.

Research show that the more children and teens spend time on  social media the lower satisfaction they report regarding their lives. Childhood experiences are vital in shaping how they will succeed in adult life.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.