News

M-A to show documentary on effects of screen addiction

'Child, Disrupted' screening is Feb. 7

It's not uncommon to see a child's eyes glued to an iPad or cellphone. Montessori teacher Krista Riihimaki noticed her students - at increasingly younger ages - spending large amounts of time tied to digital devices.

She couldn't help but wonder whether overusing technology impacts children's cognitive and physical development. With that question in mind, she decided to make a film on the topic. Riihimaki will come to Menlo-Atherton High School on Thursday, Feb. 7, to screen her documentary, "Child, Disrupted," and hold a panel discussion on screen addiction.

In "Child, Disrupted," Riihimaki interviews experts in neuroscience, psychology, occupational therapy, sociology and addiction to find out if her worries about screen time and child development are valid. The film explains how technology impacts a child's behavior and offers potential solutions for parents.

"We have to really be detectives for our children," she said. "People always ask, 'How many hours is it OK for kids this age to use tech?'"

Parents have to observe their children because technology can affect people in different ways, Riihimaki said. One child might be OK with 30 minutes a day of screen time, while another child might not be able to handle 15 minutes, she said. Some children may have trouble sleeping after watching TV or spending time on their phones before bed. Screens can affect mood or overstimulate some children, she said.

Along with Riihimaki, participants in the panel following the screening are:

• David Klein, head baseball coach at M-A and founder of America Offline, a wellness company launching in February that is aimed at getting athletes to develop healthier relationships with electronics.

• Lesley Martin, managing director of SafeSpace, a Menlo Park youth mental health program.

• Bryan Bowen, addiction counselor and chief operating officer at Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services, a residential treatment program designed specifically for boys ages 12 to 17 who are suffering from substance abuse and other issues.

• Stephanie Brown, psychologist and founder of the Addictions Institute, an outpatient clinic offering treatment for addiction problems.

The film won an outstanding achievement award at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival and best documentary short at the California Independent Film Festival 2018.

The free event will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at the M-A Performing Arts Center at 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. RSVP here.

For more information, contact David Klein at dklein@seq.org. For more on the film, go here.

---

Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 4,714 views

If you do nothing else, do These Three Things
By Sherry Listgarten | 23 comments | 1,904 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,274 views

Lentil Brownies
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 383 views

Finding Balance
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 228 views

 

The Almanac Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "The Almanac Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 27th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 17th issue of The Almanac.

VOTE HERE