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A Different Way of Approaching Tech Use for Kids

Do you want to create healthy tech habits for your kids? If you do you are not alone, most parents do.

I’m Dr. Ange Wellman and it today’s video I want to talk about the 3 types of technology and I want to offer a framework for you you can use those in creating healthy habits for your kids.

This information is coming from a book I read recently called “The Tech Solution” and it was written by Shimi Kang and she is a child psychiatrist in Vancouver. I highly recommend the book. I found it super interesting and she offers so many strategies and it is very solutions based…it is a great read!

She talks about 3 types of technology. There is healthy technology, junk tech and toxic tech. Let’s break those down.

The way we approach these types of technology would be very similar to how we would approach feeding our kids if we want to raise healthy kids.

On a healthy plate we would want to have the majority of the plate filled with healthy food. We want to be able to offer junk food here and there but very much in moderation and toxic food…well for me…I don’t want that on the plate at all.

So what is “healthy tech”?

Healthy tech is going to be technology that releases healthy hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. There are 3 key neurotransmitters that we are going to talk about.

There are endorphins which are feel good hormones. They are released when we have downtime and are practicing self-care.

Then there is oxytocin and oxytocin is the hormone of connection and that is released when we are face timing with our family and friends.

The third one is serotonin. Serotonin is released when we are playing. Personally I feel that play should really be preserved and should not necessarily be play on screens (but that is just my opinion) but play and creativity…so there’s lots we can do with technology that can foster creativity in our kids.

Those are examples of healthy technology.

Junk technology then is technology that is going to release dopamine.

Dopamine is tricky because it is actually going to make us feel good but then we crash and we just want more. So dopamine can give us a high and then because we want more it can really lead to addiction.

Video games and social media really do have that risk of becoming addictive for our kids and for us as adults. We want to monitor that technology use and we want to limit it. We want that to make up a very small piece of the plate and maybe it’s not on the daily.

The third type of technology that we really want to watch for is the toxic technology because that’s the technology that is releasing cortisol in our kids and in ourselves.

Cortisol is a stress hormone and the technology that is releasing that…we are going to see things like the fear of missing out, perfectionism, comparing ourselves to others.

I’ll be honest…I’m on social media and all of that happens to me. So if it’s happening to me it’s going to happen to my young daughter who doesn’t know how and hasn’t necessarily developed the emotional skills to manage that stuff herself.

So we want to look out for that stuff.

We want to look out for cyber-bullying.

We want to look out for addiction…where they just can’t get enough and it’s all they want to do and they don’t want to engage in real life activities.

We also want to look…and this is important to me as a Chiropractor…at what is happening to their posture and are we starting to see postural changes and prolonged sitting with the regular use of screens. That’s the kind of stuff that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives. It’s going to start a degenerative process at a young age and we are certainly seeing that more.

We want to be really careful with the toxic tech and be constantly monitoring it and if we are seeing signs of it in our kids then we want to be the leader and get it out of their lives…and that is definitely not going to be easy…but it’s certainly going to be important.

I hope you found that video helpful. Please feel free to share it or comment below.

Until next time…

Live Well for Life!


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