Screen use has become an unavoidable part of our daily lives. One Montreal study indicated that in 2019, tweens were spending more than four hours a day in front of screens. That number increased during the pandemic as classes moved online and lockdown measures curbed socialization.
Screen time increasing
With kids using screens more than ever before for both learning and entertainment, it can be difficult for parents to know when usage becomes unhealthy.
The Montreal Centre for Learning Disabilities is providing a free 10-week program to help parents to get their kids to unplug. It will consist of interactive, 90-minute weekly meetings that will encourage both kids and parents to explore the addictive nature of screens and its impact.
The program is a collaboration with Chabad Lifeline, a Montreal addiction care centre, and will be facilitated by Linda Aber, certified family life educator and attachment-focused parent coach as well as Bill Yong, youth counsellor and drama therapist at Chabad Lifeline.
Program to focus on strengthening relationships
Specifically geared toward parents and kids ages 10-13, there will be a strong focus on strengthening family relationships. The meetings will aim to help parents recognize problematic screen use, and to help kids “disconnect digitally and reconnect emotionally”.
Yong says that often problematic screen use stems from an already ingrained sense of emotional disconnection. A core objective of the program will be to restore those connections, especially attachment with parents and/or family, by working together to find a healthy balance for screen use.
Parents can also expect to develop solutions to help them address problems that might arise from their kids’ screen use.
Beginning on Jan. 19, 2022, meetings will be held every Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. until March 23, 2022 via Zoom. While the program is free, early registration is encouraged as space is limited.
For more information or to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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