Experts warn smartphones are as addictive as drugs for children

98% of Nightingale Hospital patients would recommend us to their friends and family

Using your phone to much

Daily Mail – August 2016 – ‘Mobile Rage’

So how have we reached a point where children, including those from privileged backgrounds, are prepared to use violence against their parents in order to hang on to their phones? Dr Richard Graham, Technology Addiction Psychiatrist at London’s Nightingale Hospital, says in an era where eight out of ten 12 to 15-year olds own their own phone, young people feel as if their whole lives revolve around such gadgets.

“The fact that you can influence a screen with your fingers is so appealing to a child. Then add to that the rewards they get from games-such as the new Pokémon craze sweeping the country-and fear of missing out on social media and you can understand why they can get so agitated if the phone is withdrawn. What’s happening on their phones can feel more important than anything else.”

Yet Dr Richard Graham says parents should not always blame themselves, “We’re in a learning curve. This has crept up on us all. Don’t forget, the iPhone isn’t even ten years old. There is no template for parents to know how to deal with a gadget which is so immersive.

A long weekend is enough to wean some older kids off their reliance. Just 72 hours away from gadgets leads to improved sleep and mood. A couple of weeks is even better. Once parents get that change, young people are often more willing to negotiate about their gadget use.”

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