Recent studies show suicide kills young people at higher rates than heart disease, aids, pneumonia, the flu, cancer and lung disease combined.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more kids to stay home, time on electronic devices is increasing. Joshua Andrus, a therapist who specializes in technology addiction, said it is important to find a balance with your child’s screen time.
“How many times does a parent believes their child is doing schooling and they’re really doing gaming? Or observing YouTube videos for hours on end,” said Andrus.
Andrus is working with families and schools to find and teach lessons learned during the pandemic.
The goal is to help build more resilient youth for the future. This led him to create Parents Overcoming Electronics, an organization that focuses on raising awareness of tech addiction.
“When they are younger that gives you the opportunity to set up some of that structure, but when they are older we really want our kids to be running,” he said. “My philosophy for my kids is that they should really learn their own self-governance and internal self-governance system and to enter into a partnership with our kids is more effective when they get a little bit older.”
One of his most recent books, “Thriving During COVID and Beyond” is a timely and valuable asset that helps kids normalize the experience, reinforce their strengths and minimize stress.
“It was my own personal experience and struggles with my kids,” he said. “When you see those YouTube videos where the kids are totally out of control and smashing things — that was one of the experiences, and it was a result of two parents that were not on the same page and our own kids struggling through that.”
His goal is to make children comprehend the pandemic and make it beneficial by illustrating alternatives to overcome new challenges.
You can find his books on Amazon where he lists creative activities to get kids away from too much time on the screen.