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Tasmanian parents given exclusive lesson on raising tech-healthy humans

Tasmanian parents given exclusive lesson on raising tech-healthy humans

St.LukesHealth is providing parents and carers with an exclusive opportunity to hear from Tasmanian multi award-winning author on parenting and TEDx speaker, Daniel Sih, on how to raise tech-healthy humans in Hobart next month.

Southern Regional Manager, Kate Denmen, said St.LukesHealth was thrilled to host the free session to give parents a deeper philosophy of technology, as it related to themselves and their children, enabling them to establish healthier habits.

“This is just one of the ways we’re helping to drive positive generational change, which forms an important part of our vision to make Tasmania the healthiest island on the planet,” Mrs Denmen said.

Mr Sih this year won Best Parenting Book in the eLit Book Awards (USA) and a Silver Medal in the Best Family/Parenting Book category of the Best Living Now Book Awards (USA).

His 2023 TEDx talk on the topic of kids and tech has had more than 200,000 views since May and his books have been endorsed by world-renowned Tasmanian parenting author, Steve Biddulph.

According to Mr Sih, social media and early interactive tech use is making young people less happy, increasing mental health issues, and damaging their ability to focus, control their emotions, and learn in constructive ways. 

“Digital technology is miraculous, useful and essential for young people, as it is the world they will navigate as adults, but too much time online, the wrong type of time online, at too young an age, can be harmful to their health, learning, and happiness,” Mr Sih said.

“To learn throughout life, young people need to learn how to focus, concentrate, and hold attention, but early use of interactive media through devices trains our brains to require constant stimulation, novelty and non-linear thinking.

“This is bad for learning because ultimately, if our kids are to grow up to be leaders in their fields, including technology, they first need a brain that can focus and learn.”

Mr Sih said eyesight was also deeply impacted by near-work (versus far work), so parents needed to know what types of screens were better for their children.

“There is a myopia epidemic that will hit us in 50 years because of early handheld device use, with the World Health Organisation predicting 50 per cent of the world's population will be near-sighted or myopic by 2050,” he said.

“As a society, we all need to slow down in giving kids interactive devices (such as tablets and phones) and social media, because most of the apps used by kids are designed to fracture their attention, create addiction, and stimulate anxiety-producing parts of the brain. 

“I teach a seven-step program to help parents re-think the way they introduce technologies, not to reject the value of digital technology, but to go slower, then grade up as kids grow up.”

Mr Sih’s book was released in December 2022 and has been hugely popular among schools and parenting communities, with a number of independent primary schools across Tasmania purchasing copies for every parent.

Mrs Denmen encouraged any Tasmanian with an interest in how to raise tech healthy young people to come along to the free event next month for an exclusive opportunity to hear from Daniel.

“It is our aim to make our Hobart health and wellbeing space a valued place for our members and the entire Tasmanian community, to enable preventative health, early intervention and positive generational change,” Mrs Denmen said.

The free session will be held on Monday 6 November from 6pm – 7.30pm. 
For more information: Jacquie Ray, Timmins Ray Public Relations: 0429 683 779.