Screen addiction

Starting Young: Nurturing Healthy Technology Habits in Children


By Ana Puchi (Ambassador for ScreenStrong and Founder of MYPAX) 




Technology is a part of life and as a result, screens are everywhere. We use them for work, school, research, news, games, entertainment, and to stay connected with family and friends.  These days, it's common to see groups of teenagers standing together, each engrossed in their phones, texting each other rather than engaging in face-to-face interaction.


So, it raises the question: how much screen time is excessive, and what will be the repercussions on future generations? This question is too complex to tackle here, as it requires consideration from various angles. However, governments worldwide are recognizing the necessity for regulation of large technology companies to assist young people, in particular.


Considering how much technology permeates our daily lives, I want to address the significant problem of screen and technology addiction, particularly among young people. Technology addiction mirrors other forms of addiction and can detrimentally affect various aspects of life, including relationships and mental well-being. It's essential to recognize that adults aren't immune to this issue, which complicates efforts to regulate our children's technology usage.


The challenge with technology addiction is that it differs from other types of substance dependency. In today's world, we rely on technology for work and, in some cases, even for basic necessities. Completely avoiding it is nearly impossible, underscoring the importance of fostering a healthy relationship with technology from a young age.


Children vary in their responses to screens, and not all screens offer the same level of engagement. Some screens encourage passive consumption, while others promote active participation. Additionally, certain screens are designed to captivate users' attention actively.


I've observed children who are naturally drawn to screens, eagerly exploring every feature, and those who easily disregard them, opting for alternative forms of entertainment. With these differences in mind, I'd like to introduce ScreenStrong’s Guide for Parents, which outlines warning signs of technology addiction.


            Warning signs include:

-        Meltdowns whenever forced to unplug

-        Increased use over time; child can’t cut back (of their own volition)

-        Only thing that puts child in a good mood

-        Sneaking and lying about screen time

-        Using screen time as an escape

-        Negatively impacting relationships and school



If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it may be a sign that adjusting screen time limits and implementing additional boundaries is necessary. ScreenStrong offers strategies for parents in their ‘Preventing Childhood Screen Addiction’ sheet, which is included here. You can also find more resources on their website (


It's crucial to recognize that every child is unique, and only parents or caregivers truly understand their child's needs and what moderation looks like for them. With this understanding, early intervention and other strategies can be effective in addressing potential technology addiction.


I hope this information has been helpful. Since this topic is extensive, the next newsletter will delve deeper into the importance of being mindful of content control and guidance. It's essential to understand that even seemingly minor exposures can inadvertently lead to the viewing of inappropriate content. Stay tuned for more insights on this in the upcoming article.


Wishing all parents and educators the very best as they navigate the joys and challenges of raising children in this digital age.




Ana Puchi is a mother of 3 boys: 14, 9 and 7.  An Ambassador for ScreenStrong, and Founder of MYPAX.  She is also available to talk to schools and parents about Kids Brains and Screens anytime.