At issue: Parents' role in children's smartphone 'withdrawal'

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

teens on cell phones 2A Christian physician in North Carolina is encouraging parents to be proactive in understanding that their children's "addiction" to smartphones is an issue they need to be meet head-on.

Reports indicate that K-12 schools around the U.S. are now having to deal with students experiencing separation anxiety because they're required to give up their smartphones during school hours. The Wall Street Journal says research indicates schools are having to cope with students who are showing signs of severe agitation and anxiety when not connected to their mobile devices

"Phone-related angst," says WSJ, has prompted such solutions as lockable pouches that students can keep with them; in-classroom charging stations; and policies that rewards students with Starbucks drinks or the chance to drop their worst test score from their final grade.

One teacher even collects students' phones in a clear plastic bag that keeps the phones in view, thus lowering students' anxiety.

Dr. Rosemary Fernandez Stein with the Christian Medical & Dental Associations tells OneNewsNow it's not the withdrawal from the phones that's the problem.

Stein

"It's the actual dependence on all the stimuli that comes from the phone that really is the problem," the pediatrician explains.

Stein is author of the book "Common Sense II, An American Parenting Revolution," which makes the case for a return to parent-centric parenting. She emphasizes that it cannot be the sole responsibility of teachers to deal with this phenomenon brought about by technology.

"You have to bring the parents into it," she states. "… Maybe we need to educate the parents and show them this is what happens and this is what we're doing to our children's brains. [We need to remind parents] this is why we would ask you not to let the kids be on the phone for this amount of time."

Dr. Stein says children growing up addicted to their phones are going to encounter a lot of physical, emotional and mental breakdowns.

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