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Feb 11, 2019

When a child can't seem to pull away from his favorite game or refuses to put down the phone for even a moment, is it simply youthful defiance or something worse? Screen time is increasingly recognized as a threat to the mental health of children. Today's podcast details how screens may be making children moody, crazy and lazy.

In this episode with integrative child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, Victoria Dunckley, MD, we discuss:  

  • the prevalence of "screen addiction"
  • the definition of electronic screen syndrome
  • whether some children are more susceptible than others to the effects of screen time
  • the difference between the use of interactive screens and passive screen watching
  • the cognitive and behavior changes associated with interactive screentime
  • why a digital fast may be the best approach to resetting a child's brain
  • how parents can monitor for behavior changes and adjust screen time limits accordingly

I close out the show with a detailed account of how I'm currently using the native Screen Time setting in the iPhone (for detailed instructions, read this). Along with Apple's "family" feature, I'm able to put limits on not only the time of day my son can access various apps on his iPod but also the overall amount of time he has access those apps. I briefly recount how I'm doing this similarly with Playstation and Nintendo Switch. I end with an account of how I manage access to wi-fi in general in my home using our new Eero wireless system (Amazon affiliate link). 

2019 is off to a great start for the podcast. THANK YOU for your support and for sharing this podcast. There are a ton more great episodes in line for the remainder of Season 2. I look forward to bringing a new episode to you next week. ~Regan

This week’s episode is brought to you by Food Photography Basics -- a self-guided, on-demand course approved for 1 hour CEU for registered dietitians. To enroll, visit

This Unmillennial Life is available each week via iTunes, NPROne, Libsyn, iHeartRadio, Spotify and coming soon, Podcasts on Pandora. Each full-length show is also now available via ReganJonesRD on Facebook making it easier than ever to share with a friend. 

Musical support provided by Ben Williams at Kudzu Studio. Website support provided by Katy Widrick at