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Screen Addiction by Clare Bull

A loss in interest in other activities

Avoidance behaviours

Signs of a loss of interest in other activities may include a decline in participation or enthusiasm for hobbies, social events, or once-enjoyed pursuits. Individuals experiencing this may withdraw from interactions, show decreased motivation, and exhibit a general disinterest in engaging with activities that used to bring them joy or fulfillment. It's essential to recognize these signs as they can indicate various underlying factors such as stress, depression, or burnout, and seeking support or professional advice may be beneficial.

Reduction in hygiene habits

In children, avoidance behavior can manifest as a reluctance or refusal to engage in specific activities, tasks, or social situations. This may include avoiding school assignments, social interactions, or participation in extracurricular activities. Children might exhibit signs of distress, such as crying, tantrums, or physical complaints, when faced with situations they wish to avoid. It's crucial for parents, caregivers, and educators to pay attention to these behaviors, as they could be indicative of underlying stress, anxiety, or other emotional challenges. Creating a supportive environment and encouraging open communication can help address and understand the root causes of avoidance behavior in children.

Loss or increase in appetite

A reduction in healthy hygiene habits in children can be observed through changes in routines like less frequent handwashing, neglecting dental care, or decreased attention to personal cleanliness. This shift might be influenced by various factors such as changes in environment, stress, or simply a lack of awareness. It's important for caregivers and educators to gently reinforce the importance of good hygiene practices, educate children about their significance for health, and create routines that make these habits a natural part of their daily lives. Addressing any underlying issues contributing to the decline in hygiene can help restore and maintain these essential habits in children.

A loss of appetite or a decrease in appetite in children can be influenced by various factors, including illness, emotional stress, changes in routine, or even certain medications. It's important for parents and caregivers to observe changes in eating patterns, monitor for signs of distress or discomfort during meals, and consider any recent events that might impact a child's appetite. If the loss of appetite persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consulting with a healthcare professional can help identify and address the underlying causes, ensuring the child's well-being and nutritional needs are met.

Weight gain or loss

Changes in weight, whether gain or loss, in children can be indicative of various factors. Healthy growth and development usually involve a gradual increase in weight over time. Sudden or significant changes may warrant attention. Weight gain can be influenced by factors such as diet, lack of physical activity, or certain medical conditions, while weight loss might be associated with illness, emotional stress, or other health concerns. Monitoring a child's weight along with other factors like energy levels, behavior, and overall well-being is essential. If there are concerns about a child's weight, consulting with a healthcare professional can help determine the underlying causes and establish appropriate interventions, ensuring the child's health and growth are properly managed.


Disengagement in children can manifest as a lack of interest, participation, or attention in various activities, including academic tasks, social interactions, or extracurricular pursuits. This behaviour may result from factors such as boredom, learning difficulties, social challenges, or emotional concerns. Recognizing signs of disengagement involves observing changes in behavior, enthusiasm, or motivation. Addressing disengagement often requires understanding the underlying causes, providing appropriate support, and creating an environment that fosters engagement and positive participation. Communication with the child, teachers, and parents is crucial to identify any issues and work collaboratively on strategies to re-engage the child in their activities.

Whether your child has a technology addiction or not isn’t simply answered by measuring their child’s screen time alone.  The most important factor, is the relationship they have with it. This needs observing and managing in the context of their own life.


By Clare Bull Nov 2023

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