Counselors admonish using strong-handed methods against adolescent Internet addiction 孩子「網路成癮」 諮商師籲勿高壓勒戒

Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 11

In an age when the Internet is ubiquitous, everyone has a mobile device and is constantly swiping and flicking at screens everywhere they go. This phenomenon has become a nightmare for parents because children do not know how to use such technology in moderation. As soon as a child develops problematic Internet use (PIU), or is losing sleep and neglects eating, some parents promptly cut off their child’s access to the Internet, which can lead a child to skip classes, run away from home, or rebel against the entire family. Mackay Memorial Hospital Counseling Center section chief Leu Yih-shi says that the Internet is an indispensable part of modern society. Instead of treating it as something to abstain from, it would be better to help guide people in finding a balanced lifelong approach, Leu says.

How can you tell if a child is addicted to the Internet? Although a more complex scale is used in medicine for evaluating and analyzing, Leu says that he usually gives parents a simpler method to determine if their child has a problem — not eating properly, not sleeping when it is time for bed, and skipping out on school or work. Neglecting one’s regular duties in order to continuously stay on the Internet or play computer games for three days or more than a week means that an Internet addiction problem probably exists.

At least one Internet addiction tragedy has occurred in Taiwan before. Hsiao Chieh (pseudonym) had amply exhibited his leadership skills in an online game. His mother, however, only saw her son as a youth totally obsessed with the Internet. After several failed arguments, his mother decided to cut off his access to the Internet entirely. Hsiao Chieh protested and on the second day used Internet cables to hang himself. In his suicide note, he said he had been deprived of his last freedom and wanted to do something that no one could take away from him — suicide.

People that Leu has counseled for PIU include anyone from eight-year-old elementary school students to youths in their 20s. When he encounters anxious parents, Leu consoles them first by telling them that PIU is not a sickness. The Internet and related technology have become a necessity in children’s future lives, so they must be taught how to use these tools appropriately, Leu says.

Lee Ling-hui, principal of New Taipei City’s Yongping High School, says that young people cannot get away from the Internet, particularly when it comes to making friends and playing games. To avoid addiction, Lee believes that parents must guide their children on how to use the Internet correctly from an early age, establishing game rules that must be adhered to, or it will be very difficult to change things once they reach high school.

Leu recommends that parents make time to be with their children, or even set a rule for the entire family to set aside time to be together every night without television or Internet while interacting together. Research shows that when parents and children regularly spend time together and the family has a close relationship, Internet addiction problems will be less likely to arise.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

網路時代無遠弗屆,人手一台行動裝置、走到哪滑到哪,但是孩子操作不懂得節制,已成為許多家長的噩夢,一旦子女發生「網路成癮」、甚至廢寢忘食,有些家長用壯士斷腕的做法,切斷網路線,反而造成孩子蹺課蹺家,或是家庭革命。專門協助輔導網路成癮的馬偕醫院協談中心組長呂奕熹指出,網路已成為現代社會不可或缺的工具,與其治療戒除,不如引導當事人達到生活平衡狀態。

如何認定子女有無「網路成癮」現象?呂奕熹說,雖然在醫界有比較複雜的量表可作評估分析,但他提供家長簡單的認定方法,即「該吃飯時不吃飯、該睡覺時不睡覺,該上班上課時不上班上課」;為了上網或玩遊戲,放著正事不辦,如此持續三天到一週以上時,就有網路成癮的狀況。

國內曾經發生過一起「網路成癮」悲劇,小傑(化名)在網路遊戲上充分發揮領導才華,但是在母親眼中,他是個整天沉迷於網路的問題青少年,多次溝通爭吵無效後,母親使出撒手(金間?)切斷網路,孩子為抗議,第二天使用網路線自縊,遺言「如果我連最後的自由都被剝奪,那我就要做件別人無法剝奪的事」。

呂奕熹輔導過的網路成癮者從八歲的小學生到廿多歲的青年都有,他遇到焦慮的家長,首先會安慰網路成癮不是病,網路科技已是未來生活的必備趨勢,所以要教孩子如何善用網路「工具」。

新北市立永平高中校長李玲惠說,青少年離不開網路,不外乎交友及遊戲兩種因素,為避免成癮,她認為家長要從小開始在旁引導孩子正確的使用方式,建立應遵守的遊戲規則,否則到高中階段就很難改變。

呂奕熹建議父母要多抽空陪孩子,甚至可規定每晚有段時間,全家成員一起停止所有電視和網路,成為親子互動時間,研究顯示,親子平常互動多、關係親密的家庭,較少網路成癮狀況。

(自由時報記者翁聿煌)