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‘Join your kids on X-Box’

Mental health expert urges parents to take an interest in their child’s online life

15 January, 2021 — By Calum Fraser

Amy Pollard: ‘If they are playing a lot of X-Box, then join in – learn about it, ask questions and don’t be afraid’

PARENTS concerned about how much time their child has spent online or playing video games in lockdown should jump on the X-Box with them, a mental health expert said this week.

Amy Pollard, of the Mental Health Collective which previously studied the impact of social media use on a group of Tufnell Park teenagers’ minds, told the Tribune that parents should take an interest in their child’s online life.

The unknown impact of lockdowns on children and teenagers has caused anxiety among parents as they watch their children spend hours of the day online or playing video games.

Ms Pollard, who lives in Archway, said: “Treat the online world like everything else.

“If your child went out to see a friend then when they came back you would ask how it went. It’s the same with their online life. Welcome them home again when they have had a little adventure. Be part of it as well.”

The mother-of-two added: “Try and go along with them on the adventure. If they are playing a lot of X-Box, then join in.

“Learn about it, ask questions and don’t be afraid.”

However, Ms Pollard admitted that there needed to be a balance as parents should make sure their children have some “time in real life”.

Academics have been split about whether an excessive amount of time spent online has an impact on children and teenagers.

Government guidance advises that screen time should be limited at night as it can disrupt sleep patterns which can lead to mental health issues.

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