Message from the Chaplain

Raising Socially Competent Young People

Hi All,

A great article from the “Focus on the Family “ website talks about raising socially competent young people. Have a read, I’m sure it relates to us as parents and stay tuned for further instalments.      

No doubt you have seen your young people with their eyes glued to a computer screen, television or mobile device. And you may have wondered how technology is affecting them. The moving pictures on television, in video games and in apps are extremely stimulating, and a child's brain is particularly sensitive.

In fact, you might say that those brains are made of plastic. Brains can change and adapt to what they are exposed to, a concept known as Neuroplasticity. Brain connections can be strengthened by use or weakened through neglect — the "use it or lose it" principle, according to Dr Jay Giedd from the National Institute of Mental Health.

With increased screen use, the neural connections used for listening and learning, concentration and conversation are often neglected. Furthermore, young people who heavily use technology become 'wired' to use their gadgets to communicate instead of talking face-to-face with people.

Social skills are not built on a phone or computer. They must be performed in real life, beginning in the home, where loving parents model what healthy relationships look like. Yes, technology is here to stay, and you will likely find positive ways to utilise screens and gadgets in your family.

These are amazing days when families can keep connected over long distances with photos, videos and instant messages. But if you don't minimize and counter the influence of screens in your family's life, when your son finally meets those relatives face-to-face, he may not know how to simply sit and visit.

Take care

Gary Crole

Chaplain - Bellarine Campus



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