One of the issues that almost always comes up when parents find out I specialize in Internet addiction is whether parental controls and monitoring apps work. I’ve come to realize that what many parents are really saying to me is, “I don’t know how to make sure my child only accesses safe Internet material and I’m pretty sure my kid will get around any control I set up anyway but I don’t know what else to do. Help!”
Saul Rosenthal PhD April 25th, 2016
It’s an old adage that kids think they are smarter than their parents but that either over time or in any one of countless sit-com scenarios, they realize they are wrong, wrong wrong.
Except when it comes to technology.
Kids often really do know much more about technology than their parents. As a developmental and clinical psychologist, I find this a fascinating phenomena that has significant implications for growth, health and society.
As a parent, it freaks me out.
Saul Rosenthal PhD March 9th, 2016
Posted In: Parenting
A child sees a lollipop in a candy store and grabs it. A driver sees an opening in the next lane and cuts off another driver. A mom sees the latest must-have handbag at the park and within seconds she’s hitting BUY NOW on her phone. Impulsivity always follows the same sequence: I See It. I Want It. I Grab for It. We’ve all been impulsive at one time or another, usually without too many bad consequences. Unfortunately, if a person can’t control their impulsivity, they are likely to get into trouble.
As a specialist in the field of Internet Addiction, I see over and over that it’s this lack of impulse control that is the often-overlooked root cause behind all forms of Problematic Technology Overuse from online porn addiction to compulsive shopping.
Saul Rosenthal PhD December 18th, 2015
Posted In: Internet Addiction
Recently, the Boston Globe and its affiliated web site (boston.com) ran some articles relating to the problems of tech overuse. They got me thinking about how our devices have evolved (some might say morphed) into an extension of ourselves and our social world.
Saul Rosenthal PhD January 20th, 2015
Posted In: Psychology of Technology
Twelve or thirteen years ago, a 12-year-old boy and his parents came to my office complaining he was so anxious that he was unable to get out of bed and go to school. He also reported he couldn’t face his homework, found it difficult to concentrate, was not sleeping well and was increasingly irritable. Not long before he had been a good student, a voracious reader, emotionally stable and gave his parents few problems. In short, he had quickly gone from a ‘good’ kid to a ‘troubled’ one. Initially his parents thought the changes were related to puberty, but as his school performance plummeted and he started refusing to go, they realized something more significant was at play.
Saul Rosenthal PhD December 4th, 2014