2 ways smartphones are helping your kids

Hi guys! I’m Simone, the newest clinician to join the Centre for Child Development.  I’ve been described as a tech-enthusiast and most recently, the ‘Anti-Pauli Effect’ – don’t worry – I had to Google that last one too (I recommend it if you have time for a giggle).  In addition to my work helping young people and their parents achieve positive learning, relationships, mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan, I’m a bit of a technology nerd.  By ‘a bit’, I mean ‘a lot’; and although my PhD thesis explored the use of apps in therapy with young people, I don’t discriminate.  Apps, smartphones, tablets, computers, wearables, gaming systems – you name it, I’m all over it!  To encourage greater understanding and positive relationships with technology, I’m going to share tips and insights based on the latest research.

child with phone Photo by Diego Passadori on Unsplash

When used appropriately, smartphones can actually be helpful for young people.  That’s right, the iPhone you can’t seem to separate from your child’s hand can actually do some good! Here are two ways that smartphones can actually be helpful:

  1. Smartphones can allow kids to stay connected with friends.  In some cases, this connection may even increase the quality of their friendships. Of course you’ll need to address appropriate use of the phone in terms of ettiquete (i.e. is it okay to use the phone at the dining table? What would adults think if you were frequently checking your phone while they’re talking to you?) and safe behaviour (i.e. sending images and bullying spring to mind here).
  2. Smartphone apps can also be helpful, with research showing some apps can reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. We even use these apps in the clinic! I’ll be sharing more about the types of apps that can be helpful over the coming weeks, but in the meantime have a think about which areas in your child’s life technology/apps might help? It can be a great way to motivate a somewhat reluctant child to practice relaxation and mindfulness!

It’s important to remember that we can all experience challenges negotiating our relationships whether it’s with parents, siblings, children, colleagues, food or exercise.  Technology is no different – as Oscar Wilde said, “everything in moderation”.

As always, we really recommend that you address boundaries and household expectations around the use of smartphones in your home to avoid any challenges or negative effects of overuse etc.

Simone Gindidis – Psychologist at Hawthorn Centre for Child Development


Simone is a registered psychologist who recently submitted her PhD in Educational and Developmental psychology. She is dedicated to helping children, adolescents and parents achieve positive learning, relationships, and wellbeing across the lifespan. A lover of technology and gaming, she developed a successful e-learning iPad program to support second language acquisition in a private language school. Her PhD research investigated how smartphone apps can be used to support adolescents in therapy. In addition to technology and all things Harry Potter, she has considerable experience working in primary and secondary school environments training teachers and parents in the use of technology to aid communication and learning. She is trained in Cross-Battery Assessment of cognitive and academic abilities and ensures a flexible, responsive approach to providing evidence-based psychological services. Simone is sensitive to cross-cultural issues; fluent in both English and Greek. She is an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society, and former representative on the National Committee of Educational and Developmental Psychologists. An occasional lecturer and teaching associate at Monash University in postgraduate psychology and counselling programs, Simone is passionate about marrying the latest research evidence with psychological services.

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