YOUR QUES­TIONS, AN­SWERED

Haven Magazine - - WELLBEING - Words: Tanya Cur­tis

The team at Fabic are a wealth of knowl­edge when it comes to child­hood be­havioural is­sues. Do you have a burn­ing ques­tion? Email editor@haven­magazine.com.au and keep your eyes peeled for their ex­pert an­swers.

I’ve been hear­ing loads of neg­a­tive re­ports about the com­puter game “Fort­nite” in the me­dia lately. Are com­puter games like this bad for my kids? We some­times use ipad time as an in­cen­tive for good be­hav­iour. What are your rec­om­men­da­tions on how much time I should al­low my child to play these types of games ev­ery day? The sim­ple an­swer is there is no right or wrong, and the an­swers to these ques­tions must be dis­cerned for each in­di­vid­ual at each in­di­vid­ual time. How­ever, the first ques­tion is to ask is ‘What is the in­tent be­hind my child us­ing screen time?’. At Fabic, we ap­proach life as though it is one mas­sive class­room - we call it the ‘class­room of life’. We also un­der­stand that ev­ery be­hav­iour will ei­ther sup­port or stunt our de­vel­op­ment - depend­ing on the in­tent of how we ap­proach each sit­u­a­tion. If the screen time is be­ing used as a babysit­ting tool, to dis­con­nect from self/peo­ple, or to not fully com­mit to par­tic­i­pat­ing in life, then I would say we have an ill in­tent. If the screen time is be­ing used to sup­port a per­son’s de­vel­op­ment, to in­crease con­nec­tion with self and oth­ers, and to sup­port ex­pan­sion to in­crease a per­son’s com­mit­ment to ev­ery day life then I would say we have an in­tent that is sup­port­ive. The next ques­tions I would ask are in re­gards to ‘qual­ity’: What qual­ity is the per­son in when they are us­ing their screen? What qual­ity does the per­son bring to their screen time use? What qual­ity is the per­son in be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter screen time use? What qual­ity is the ma­te­rial be­ing used dur­ing screen time? And the last ques­tions I would ask are around what im­pact this screen time is hav­ing. The fact is that screen time does im­pact on peo­ple in their ev­ery day life, thus, it is sim­ply be­ing ab­so­lutely hon­est in ask­ing: What im­pact does this screen time have on my child, the fam­ily, the larger so­cial net­work my child is a part of? Do I want to ad­vo­cate for this im­pact (and if I say yes to screen time at any given mo­ment, I am say­ing yes to the im­pact, qual­ity and in­tent that is im­mi­nent). There are no set an­swers to ques­tions around what your chil­dren should or should not be al­lowed to be watch­ing/do­ing dur­ing their screen time, and/ or any pre­ferred length of screen time, rather the ques­tions should be around in­ternt, qual­ity and im­pact and whether or not you say yes or no to that.

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