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Pediatrics and Neonatology

Does your Child have Digital Stress?

Stress in children is more common than we think... Help them to avoid it!

Does your Child have Digital Stress?

Today, children are exposed to an endless amount of information and content found on the Internet, many of which brings with it a large number of educational and technological benefits in the development of children; however, the excesses, as in everything, turn out to be harmful.

The excessive use of technological devices in children can develop eye strain, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem due to a lack of interpersonal relationships, among other conditions.

What is Digital Stress?

Digital Stress is Stress caused by adverse interactions in Social Media, Texts, Chat rooms, or forums. Nowadays exists two classes of Digital Stress:

Class 1: Is a result of Cyberbullying

Class 2: Anxiety transformed into a Stalker

We are in a digital age where most of the children's entertainment is reduced to the time they spend using screens and consuming only digital content that is not always suitable for their age. We know that the pace of life that you as a parent lead is swift; however, it is advisable to devote time to monitoring the content that children are consuming and accessing and propose other alternatives for leisure.

Be aware especially of these signs and symptoms of Digital Stress:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

  • Indirect communication

  • Increased secrecy

  • Anger

  • Depression

  • Failing grades

  • Rebellion

  • Stomachaches, headaches not explained by a medical condition

What’s Triggering about Social Media?

  • Rejection levels when they are seeing people posting about parties or events to which they haven’t been invited

  • The feeling of pressure to post positive and amazing content about themselves

  • The feeling of pressure to get comments and likes on their posts

Tips for parents to avoid Digital Stress

  • Manage cell phone and internet.

  • Transform your Social Media in a model for your child.

  • Discuss the risks of posting pictures and comments online.

  • If you notice a change, open a non-judgmental dialogue with your child or seek professional help.

  • Make a schedule with your child about the use of Social Media at home.

  • Monitor their Social Media, only sometimes.

  • Try not to fight with your child, try to understand the pressure, and help them.

Help your child to face digital stress by talking about its possible causes, proposing solutions such as: reducing computer-use times, spending more quality time with parents, siblings or friends, doing more exercise or physical activities, keeping a diary where they can write down the things that make him/her uncomfortable and those that make him/her feel happy. 

Also, you can seek professional attention from a Psychologist in case the behavior changes persist because digital stress can generate significant problems in the performance of children at school and at home.