4. Decreased Academic Performance
The more time children spend using digital devices, the less time they spend reading. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds new ones, and helps them improve their attention and focus. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better understanding of academic concepts and therefore better grades.
Many schools are moving to computerized instruction, and our children are now spending a remarkable amount of time in front of their computers or tablets during school hours. I was surprised to learn that my daughters spend upwards of 3.5 hours in front of a screen during their school days. I am not sure how this digital instruction is improving our children’s education; and there’s no strong strong research evidence to support that this is beneficial for students or supportive for their learning. However, it is a reality that we have to live with, and we must take into account their electronics exposure in school as we set limits for electronics use at home.
5. Poor Executive Functioning
Early brain development is determined by our children’s environmental stimuli or lack thereof. When most of the stimulation our kids receive comes from exposure to technologies (TV, computer, phones, iPads…) their executive functioning, attention, working memory, impulse control, delay gratification and ability to self-regulate are severely compromised.
Research has also shown that higher level cognitive skills such as critical thinking, reflection, self-awareness, creativity and imagination may get reduced as a result of excessive digital use.
When our children spend time flipping from one game, online activity, YouTube video, tv show… to the next develop a higher threshold for stimulation. They therefore tend to become more easily bored with normal tasks that are not fast-paced and constantly stimulating.
Children also tend to focus on immediate and instant gratification, and struggle to make decisions based on any factors beyond their immediate wants in needs. Inevitably, this leads them to develop lower frustration tolerance, a tendency to give up on tasks, an impulse to get away from situation that are not of their liking, a lack of persevering in an activity before just moving on to the next thing, and zero problem solving skills.
I will continue addressing the 10 main reasons why we should control our children’s technology use in the next few days. Stay posted!
Much love, Diana-