As mentioned in Chapter 3, electrical and electronic equipment has enriched our lives, but it can be abused. Some children are allowed unlimited television, computer/Internet/electronic game time. The research is clear: being hooked to an electronic screen can lead to depression, social isolation and loneliness. Unfortunately, this is where many shy children disappear. Electronic security blankets may replace valuable socialising time. Chatting on the Net will never replace face-to-face interaction, unless humans are genetically reprogrammed. Some children claim that they release their frustrations while playing computer games, but there is limited supporting evidence. They need to do something physical and verbal with someone who is real - otherwise their gut instinct can't function.
• Limit your child's electronic time to about one or two hours per day.
• Provide instructions on computer usage and check regularly to see what he is doing.
• Make sure he is not an electronic target or bully.
• Remind him that electronic bullying can be traced.
• If your child has problems, contact the service provider to block the mean kids, and tell the police, school, etc. (See also Chapter 12.)
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