Clifford Sussman, MD (Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist, Internet and Gaming Addiction Specialist, Volunteer Clinical Faculty, George Washington University) discusses the importance of parents finding a balanced approach to setting limits with their child with a digital addiction at #AskTheExperts webinar “Screen Extremes: Children and Digital Addictions” on August 31, 2023.
[Dr. Clifford Sussman] Your home kind of looks like this bar to your kids if it’s filled with devices and screens everywhere, and if you’re using your devices too. And so that- the brain starts to release dopamine even before it gets what it wants from the cues that it’s about to receive what it wants, so cues are a big factor. In fact, when someone with alcoholism walks into a bar, they get all the sights, smells, and sounds of the bar, and that’s what causes their brain to release dopamine before they’ve even had their first drink. Now, not only am I trying to help my patients balance between high- and low-dopamine activities in terms of their time, I’m also trying to help parents balance their approach to how to deal with this problem, because I find that, you know, parents have trouble finding a balance between knowing what limits to set and what sort of natural consequences to put in place, and encouraging their kids to self-regulate and be more independent and set their own limits. And I find that some parents will settle into one extreme approach or another sometimes because maybe it’s more comfortable for them.
View the Full Webinar
Many children and teens spend several hours daily on screens for entertainment. When does heavy use of digital media turn into an addiction, and what can parents do?
Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD
Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, Director
Naomi Fineberg, MBBS, MA, MRCPsych
Professor of Psychiatry; Consultant Psychiatrist
Jason Nagata, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Clifford Sussman, MD
Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist; Internet and Gaming Addiction Specialist; Volunteer Clinical Faculty
Video gaming addiction speaker, author, and coach; Family Coach