Ban on mobile phones at school, psychotherapist Lavenia: “True, but it is a defeat for us parents”

“The ban imposed by Minister Valditara on the use of mobile phones in schools is a necessary measure, but it is also a defeat for us parents. It is shocking that such a drastic measure had to be taken to acknowledge the obvious: mobile phones are a source of distraction and have no place in the classroom,” Giuseppe Lavenia, psychotherapist and president of the National Association of Technological Addictions Gap and Cyberbullying, told Adnkronos Salute, following the announcement by the Minister of Education and Merit, Giuseppe Valditara, of a circular banning the use of mobile phones for any purpose, including educational purposes, starting next school year.

“So far, our approach to digital education has been wrong: we give children a smartphone and when they are teenagers, we desperately try to impose rules and limits. This is the most wrong way possible. We should do exactly the opposite – warns Lavenia – First of all, we must teach our children what a smartphone is for, what the risks are, the dangers of manipulation and distraction. Only after making them aware do we let them access the network and applications, when they are of the right age”.

“So why can’t we resist until they are 14? There is already a European privacy law that prohibits minors from using the internet before that age. Ignoring this law – warns the expert – means exposing our children to unnecessary risks and failing in our role as educators.”

According to Lavenia, “there is nothing wrong with explaining to our children that they have to go through a process and be ready before they get a smartphone. Often we give smartphones to children at 6/7 years old because we are no longer able to say no and keep that no. We are not able to control a child’s crying or anger, but in reality we are teaching them two fundamental things: respect for the rules and the ability to deal with frustration. These skills are essential for their future life”.

“We also need to be a good example. It is not about demonizing technology, but about finding a balance, and that can only be done through education and training. Teaching our children to use technology as a useful tool, rather than a constant distraction, is fundamental to their success and well-being. This requires a joint effort from parents, schools and institutions. Only in this way – he concludes – can we educate generations who can use technology effectively and productively, without being overwhelmed by it. It is time to take our role seriously and start building a better future for our children, with clear rules and a solid education from the start.”