While children across the country have been enjoying the holidays, many parents will be preparing for battle to get them off their devices to return to schoolwork.
But one group of kids are a step ahead, already ditching tech as part of a digital detox pilot program aimed at getting them back to mother nature.
"We're all about creating some healthy habits for them that they can sustain and implement back at home," Kokoda Youth Services manager Stacey Ogilvie told A Current Affair.
READ MORE: Residents bleed money while cars remain trapped in stacker nine months on
While part of the digital detox, kids aged 12 to 14 say goodbye to technology for nine days and take part in a range of activities to try and ease their addictions.
Isabella Norton, 13, is one youth in attendance who admits she's addicted to technology, to a point where it's negatively impacting her life.
"I'm on my iPad or my laptop, it kind of gives me a sense of relief and safety because it's not as scary as the outside world," Isabella said.
READ MORE: Ground-breaking speeding fine court win
"I'm in my room consistently.
"I just want to be left alone on my iPad and it makes me moody and angry for some reason."
Kokoda Youth Foundation CEO Johllene Elson said, "young people are engaging more with technology and disengaging with their families."
READ MORE: Woman finds missing belongings at Mitre 10 outlet amid storage dispute
Digital dependence has become so prevalent, the Kokoda Youth Foundation has designed the program to help both children and their parents.
Ms Elson said they're hoping the program will improve the participants' social skills so they are less reliant on technology, have more of an appreciation for nature and can develop better interactions with their families.
In what feels like the middle of nowhere, our cameras were with the teenagers in Queensland's Lockyer Valley as 17 complete strangers were introduced to each other at the camp.
The days at the program are packed full of activities which left the kids with no room to think about technology.
We visited the camp on day three to see the children as they worked together in teams and encouraged one another on the giant swing and high ropes.
Away from the physical activities there were a series of workshops educating the group about the science behind addiction and the importance of healthy digital habits.
"It's made me realise how closely related technology is to drug addiction and drinking addiction and it's just really addictive," 13-year-old Taran Valentine said.
Psychologist Dr Barry Oliver specialises in biofeedback, a mind-body technique used to control functions such as heart rate.
He connected the teens up to electrical sensors and the first assessment was taken while having a conversation.
"I get them to do a couple of minutes of very unique-type breathing and measure their heart rate variability … and the results are quite astounding," Dr Oliver said.
As the kids came to the end of the program, A Current Affair went back to see how it had been, what they'd learnt and what they'll take home.
"I'm hoping I come out from this camp learning a lot of new things and just coming in with a new refreshed mindset … and hopefully cut down my time," 14-year-old Benjamin Crockford said.
Benjamin has ADHD and Asperger's and spends hours during the day and night on instant messaging platform Discord to chat with friends.
"He can't perform tasks at school, (he is) falling behind," his mother Belinda said.
"It's really becoming an issue for all aspects of his life and impacts on the family."
Mrs Crockford has seven other children and works four jobs, which makes it difficult to monitor and restrict her son's usage.
Ms Ogilvie said part of the program has the kids working with their parents to formulate a plan on habits that they want to implement after leaving.
"I'm going to focus on being more out there and social with other people … instead of a little tucked up ball, in the bed with a device," Isabella said after completing the program.
Kokoda hopes to help others manage their addiction by holding the free camps with up to 90 kids at a time every school holiday.
For more information about the digital detox program, visit here.
Auto news: Shock new reason behind car delays – drive.com.au
Online Coupons and Best Deals
Watch the brand new series The Girl From Plainville now on Stan.
Search properties in AUS
Latest news, reviews and cars for sale
© 2022 Nine Digital Pty Ltd
© 2022 Nine Digital Pty Ltd

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.