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Too Much Screen Time Is Hurting Your Child’s Grades!

Child Using Computer at Home

A recent study out of Cambridge University found that a student’s grades are being dramatically impacted by the amount of screen time they are exposed too.   The study looked at over 800 fourteen and fifteen-year-old students, who on average, spent a total of four hours interacting with some sort of screen-based technology (internet, TV, computer games, iPad, texting, etc.).

Part of the group was given an extra hour a day interacting with technology to see if it had an effect.  It had a dramatic negative result.  This group’s final exam scores where the equivalent of two grades lower than the group whose technology usage stayed the same.   This would be the equivalent of turning a B into a D.

How much screen time is your student getting?  

A review of the research on how technology usage is impacting our kids’ brain development overall is disturbing to say the least. Multiple educators, developmental psychologists, and neuroscientists alike are indicating that our children’s’ brains (and your brain too) are being rewired dramatically as a result of media usage.   

Here is a list of changes they believe are occurring:

  • Increased inattention
  • Increased distractibility
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Inability to concentrate for extended period of times
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to read deeply
  • Lowered comprehension
  • Increased impulsivity
  • Distracted decision making
  • Increased ability to scan, skim and find information
  • Increased visual-spatial abilities

What Can You Do?

The following are a list of recommendations suggested by Dr. Ari Brown who is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) group that drafted the AAP’s position on screen time.

  • Create a media strategy for your family and adjust it as your children age
  • Limit media time on all screens (including interactive ones) to two hours a day, if possible
  • Go into a device’s setting and restrict access to content
  • Keep phones and tablets out of kids’ bedrooms
  • Put devices (including yours) “to sleep” in a kitchen basket, 30 minutes before bedtime
  • Evaluate your own media use and set limits
  • Keep off all screens at dinnertime
  • Take stock of your teen’s maturity before allowing them to joining Facebook or other social media
  • Let your child know you will be joining them on those social media sites.
  • Accept that older teens need phones and middle schoolers might need phones
  • Tell your children to think before they text-only write what you would say to a friend’s face
  • Don’t give your younger child a phone if you are at pick up and drop off

For more information on the use of technology with children, go to the AAP website.

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