First World Problems

Parents Now Shipping Their iPad-Addicted Kids to Therapy

And we thought Ren and Stimpy was going to screw us up.
Problem child. (Photo: Flickr)

Problem child. (Photo: Flickr)

We’re all going to enter therapy for our addiction to technology eventually. Might as well start them young. That’s what they’re doing over in the United Kingdom to a four-year-old girl who, after using her iPad for more than four hours a day, became “distressed and inconsolable” when it was taken away.

Her mother entered her into a rehab after she showed “increased agitation” when the iPad was removed. Enter hero Dr. Richard Graham, the creator of Britain’s first-ever technology addiction program, who claims cases like hers are growing and creating “dangerous” long-term effects. He told The Telegraph that the electronic form of amusement was preventing kids from forming IRL social relationships and leaving kids very exhausted from the constant swiping.

Like every other problem, he blames parents for not lifting an eye from their iDevices, which leaves kids craving them, too.

“They can’t cope and become addicted, reacting with tantrums and uncontrollable behavior when they are taken away. Then as they grow older, the problem only gets worse. Even the most shy kids, when they hit their teens, suddenly want to become sociable and popular,” said Dr. Graham.

Now frustrated parents, who are too scared of their crying children, are paying upwards of $25,000 for 28-day long “digital detox” programs in a London hospital created by Dr. Graham. Guess we know where Park Slope parents will be spending their summers!

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com