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The Weight of Technology – The Rise of iPad Neck

Headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, down the arms and through the fingers are symptoms that could indicate that your child may be too attached to their smart phone or tablet and may be suffering from iPad neck or iPad shoulder. Although in recent years we have become more aware of proper posture especially while using desktop computers in an effort to reduce and avoid computer related neck and back pain, the arrival of portable devices and therefore smaller screens has made ergonomic principles much more difficult to follow. Few can argue with the fact that our lives are now much easier because of portable technology, however this has definitely come at a cost. The use of smart phones and tablets encourages poor posture and upper back and neck strain. This is because our necks are forced into a forward position whilst looking down at the small screen.  Often these devices are used in awkward positions like slouching on the sofa or lying down in bed leading to further strain on the soft tissues in the back of the neck. Initially these awkward positions cause little more than discomfort which can easily be relieved by simply changing position or by a few simple stretches. However, prolonged incorrect posture will gradually lead to more severe issues which are not as easily relieved and often need some form of treatment. It is important to remember that we have one back that has to last a lifetime so here are some tips to help you and your children avoid neck and back pain because of technology. Be mobile and avoid staying stuck in the same...

The Worrying Realm of Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction is on the rise, especially among adolescents. The difficulty in dealing with this growing concern is that adolescents suffering from such an affliction are often identified when the problem is already very complex and they have started missing school to feed their addiction. This highlights the important role parents play in preventing the problem from reaching the point of no return. Signs to look out for There are several warning signs of gaming addiction of which parents should be aware of. Adolescents with internet gaming disorder show classic signs of addiction, for instance: ·      they become preoccupied with gaming ·      they lie about their gaming use ·      they lose interest in other activities having been socially active in the past ·      they withdraw from friends and family ·      they have difficulty communicating with others ·      they use gaming as a means of procrastination or escaping difficult tasks ahead, like exams. How to help One way of helping adolescents escape the clutches of gaming addiction is to provide alternative venues of social connection organised specifically to address their social skills and communication competence. Internet-addicted adolescents need to feel that they are not alone in their situation. Bringing them together and coaching them through various social skills could help them develop friendships with peers who have similar interests. These young adults need a lot of support throughout the process since often they retreated to the online world following failed attempts at social interaction in real life. Gaming is often a form of escapism and therefore parents and professionals should consider the underlying issues that have pushed the adolescents in...

Emotion Coaching – the key to online safety and resilience in children

Keeping children safe online is no different from keeping them safe in everyday life. A strong emotional connection between children and parents is one of the building blocks to nurture resilience in children through emotion coaching and by fostering emotional intelligence to help keep them safe. Research has consistently indicated that children who are able to build a strong emotional connection with at least one parent and can communicate openly and honestly with them about difficulties have an inherent resilience when it comes to day to day life, including internet safety and use. This resilience is achieved through emotional intelligence* which refers to: an ability to identify and understand one’s own emotions successfully use emotions during social interactions use emotional awareness when solving problems keep distress from clouding one’s ability to think be in control of how and when feelings are expressed Emotional intelligence is essential as it allows your child awareness and control over what he or she does. It results in lower levels of stress which is associated with better health and enables more satisfying friendships and lasting relationships. Emotional intelligence also gives children better ability to calm themselves and concentrate when faced with challenging situations and makes change easier to deal with. It is distinct from intelligence, meaning that a child with low IQ and low educational achievement scores can have high emotional intelligence scores. Children who are emotionally intelligent will be less likely to communicate with strangers online or even to use the internet as frequently as they are more likely to be satisfied with their personal relationships and to be involved and positively engaged...