Excessive screen time and gaming are significant catalysts for the vast majority of mental health challenges facing our students at Westlake Boys High School. Reports of students gaming in excess of 50+ hours per week are not uncommon and much of this can occur without parental knowledge. The experiences of our counselling team and worldwide research shows that excessive screen time negatively impacts on the individual’s ability to communicate effectively, form friendships in the real world, as well as impacting on academic progress and physical health. Many students who game excessively attend counselling for self-esteem issues, relationship challenges and poor sleep through the distortion of their circadian rhythm. They are also disproportionately represented, as identified students at risk of failing academically.
Success in reducing or moderating screen time can be achieved through good communication and the notion of compromise. Setting agreed goals around a holistic life that includes, homework, co-curricular activities and exercise alongside sensible screen times have proved beneficial for some parents. In extreme cases parents have turned off or physically disconnected the modem or removed devices from their sons at an appropriate time in the evening.
- Understanding the dangers of Blue light on Teenage brains
- Screen addiction Ruining Kids' Brains
- Screen Time Family Log
- Reducing Screen Time
- Family tips for reducing Screen Time
- Netsafe - Top 10 Tips for Parents
Please encourage your son to take the survey on gaming and technology in the student’s section. But please allow them to complete it in private to ensure they reflect openly and honestly. You can find the link to the survey here.