Summer is in full swing and I've been enjoying my self-commitment to read more for leisure and pleasure. In doing so, I've been picking up some great insightful articles.
As we navigate the adult world of multiple demands and responsibilities, we kid ourselves into thinking we can successfully multi-task the barrage of information overload that comes our way.
In fact, different research continues to provide evidence that our brain is not able to swiftly transfer its attention from one task to another without losing significant time in our attention-focus capacities.
If we're feeling the effects of a cluttered brain which crowds our ability to be present and in the moment, is it any surprise that children today are amongst the most stressed out generation as they too are being conditioned in the same ways?
As we digest the "how to's" and benefits of mindfulness practices, I know many of us continue to struggle with its implementation amidst the day to day reality of parenting.
One of the stress points that comes up often in my conversations with parents is our children's dependence on electronic devices - be it the LeapFrog tablet, iPad, smartphone or any other tech variety. Some experts have even been able to provide physiological evidence that mimics addictive behaviors.
Children have always been experts at living in the moment as its been their intuitive state for centuries. Unfortunately, we've begun to interrupt this natural state of being as we shuttle them from one activity to another, jump into action when we hear "I'm bored" or effortlessly hand them a device to kill time.
In his article "Devices Mess With Your Brain ...", Markham Head shares the perspective of Earl Miller - a neuroscience professor at MIT. Miller says, "Every time you switch your focus from one thing or another, there's something called a switch cost...Your brain stumbles a bit, and requires time to get back to where it was before it got distracted." Head also shares a study that reveals how it takes our brain 15-25 minutes to regain it's focus and concentration.
If our adult brains struggle with digital distractions and a false confidence in multi-tasking, imagine the impacts of tech overload this generation of children is experiencing?
In this same article Paul Atchley (a cognitive psychologist from the University of Kansas) shares, "that research suggests that lots of device use bombards your brain's prefrontal cortex, which plays a big role in willpower and decision making...He says this part of the brain isn't 'fully wired' until one's early 20s - an issue that has him worried about how heavy device use may be affecting children and adolescents."
Like many of my parents reading this, I too am very attentive to how technology can infiltrate the downtime of summer vacation. If technology is an area of concern for you this summer, here are some Tech Reduction Tips:
These suggestions and many others are most successful when we think them through ahead of time.
If you have questions, want to go in detail on something, curious about what you've read or looking for clarity on anything I've shared today or previously, then Drop Me a Note and let's chat!
Enjoy the week ahead as I'm here to support you on your parenting journey.
Stay motivated and inspired to PARENT DIFFERENTLY.
Your best self and parent is waiting!