Research shows, and current behaviours confirm that our children’s development, growth, and happiness are directly related to the time they spend in front of screens.
“Yet, after numerous conversations with parents, I have discovered that many parents are not aware of the neuroscientific and negative impact on their children’s health and well-being that spending too much time in front of screens have, especially when it is on a smartphone linked to the internet and social media,” says Dr Marlena Kruger, digital wellness coach.
“I feel strongly that it is parents’ responsibility to be well-informed about these realities and challenges to ensure that we take the right decisions and make the best choices for our children’s development, health and happiness.”
According to Dr Kruger, it is of utmost importance that parents limit access to the internet and social media platforms according to industry restrictions with regards to children’s age, brain, and body development, as well as maturity levels. This is to ensure that our children are not neglected and abused while in front of screens but rather have high-quality real-life interactions, with eye contact, play, and conversations.
Launch of new initiative
On 29 September, the Technolife Wise Foundation will be launching the “Active Digital Wellness” initiative in collaboration with the Roosevelt High School in Johannesburg. The goal of the programme is to encourage parents to say yes to waiting until Grade 8 or the age of 14 before giving children access to the internet and social media via a smartphone. Parents taking the “Wait until Grade 8 Pledge” will form parent groups that will be supported and support each other to attain healthy habits. Parents are invited to visit the website of the Technolife Wise Foundation to take the pledge to be linked to like-minded parents at www.technolifewise.org
According to Mr Henk Ferreira, vice-principal at Roosevelt High School, the school has already implemented a no cell phone policy during school hours in 2016. They are willing to share and distribute their policy and implementation guidelines to any school that wishes to implement a similar policy.
For more information
Journalists are invited to join us at the official launch at Roosevelt High School on 29 September 2022 at 9:00.
You are welcome to contact Dr Marlena Kruger for more information about the “Active Digital Wellness” initiative and/or the launching event at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone number 083 456 3505.