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"Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER" Guides Helping Children With Mental Health And Less Technology

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In the 2016 documentary, Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age, the impacts of screen technology on kids were explored, and it offered parents solutions to curb those impacts. 

Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience, dives into how time spent in front of a phone, computer or a videogame can impact a child’s mental health, especially when experiencing depression or anxiety, and what parents can do to help.

Filmmaker Dr. Delaney Ruston said Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER does something unique: it brings kids, students, parents and teachers together to facilitate a healthy conversation and figure it out together.

“Too often, we are separating kids and adults from dilemmas, as opposed to coming together and really find solutions together,” she said.

Dr. Ruston said one way parents can help their child during emotional times is to encourage the positives, and not the negatives. Instead of constantly disciplining the child for excess screen time, highlight the positives when they put the technology down. 

“That will build more of those skills [to help their child], as opposed to always getting angry when they’re on screen,” Dr. Ruston said. 

She said, overall, the best thing to help emotional distress is adequate sleep and face-to-face contact. So the less screen time, the better chance at healing. 

A screening of Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER is Wednesday evening, November 6 at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale at 5:30 p.m.