Decrease Screen Time To Increase Brain Function?
Could decreased screen time help increase brain function in our kids? Technology seems to running our world today. It’s everywhere we look and everywhere we go. Our kids are bombarded with technology not only as a new world way to communicate with teachers and friends, but also in regards to video game competition. The obsessions around video games such as Fortnite and other violent games are taking its toll on children’s overall wellness and brain function.
Could We Increase Our Child’s Brain Function?
As parents we find ourselves in a constant battle with our kids around unplugging and screen time limits. We have in a way, lost all control. We have stepped into a society where the common parenting approach leans towards Permissive Parenting. This approach centers on our children being “in charge.” Where they call the shots and get their way by throwing tantrums, refusing to listen or a serious combination of the two.
Screen time affects on the mind and body
If you can relate to this type of parenting approach and feel as though you are constantly battling with your child to put their phone down, stop playing on your phone, turn off the TV or video games, but no one seems to listen, then you will want to listen up! The amount of time kids are spending in front of screens is wreaking havoc on their minds and body. They are not performing to their greatest potential and are being stunted mentally and physically. If we learn positive parenting tools to help teach our kids to cooperate, we will be able to decrease screen time to increase brain function.
Lack of sleep due to screen obsessions
When screens are taking over your child’s world they don’t get adequate sleep or time to move their bodies. The lack of physical activity affects their sleep. The lack of sleep affects their schoolwork or cognitive abilities and the lack of cognitive growth will affect them for life. WE HAVE TO LIMIT SCREEN TIME! The Globe and Mail article, “Limited screen time boosts children’s cognition: study” helps dive into this massive struggle we are fighting as parents today.
How can we reduce screen time if our kids won’t listen?
“Kids will do better when they feel better,” says Jane Nelson founder of Positive Discipline. That means punishment won’t work as a parenting tactic. The more you take away and punish, the worse your child feels about him/herself, which causes them to lash out and get angrier. Those punishments may stop the behaviour in the short-term. Like a Band-Aid, you will get a quick fix, but you won’t get long-term results. That negative behaviour will come back again. Usually the behaviours will worsen over time, leaving you feeling like the only thing left to do is to punish more and take more away. Sound familiar? Read this article “Why Won’t My Kids Listen” to learn more about this parenting struggle.
Meet Basic and emotional needs to help improve listening
In order to get our kids to listen we need to learn to meet their needs. Needs consist of basic (sleep and nutrition) and emotional (power and attention). Kids must have their needs met in order to do their best. If we work to be one step ahead on meeting needs we will avoid numerous meltdowns. Sleep is your number one starting point. Solve all sleep issues before moving on. In regards to emotional needs, our child’s power and attention quota must be met daily. If our kids don’t get the power and attention they need, then they will fight to get it. This typically looks like not listening, refusing to cooperate, back talking, and more. Work to be 1 step ahead with proactively meeting needs and you will notice your kids listening more!
Set screen time Limits and boundaries
Set your screen time limits in advance. Make time to decide what you feel are fair limits on screen time. Think about what has to be done in order for your child to earn his/her screen time. In our home, screen time is a privilege and one that can only be taken advantage of if their responsibilities are completed first. Once boundaries have been set, you need to take time to TEACH and TRAIN. It’s only a fair limit if your child is aware of the circumstances. If and when boundaries are not met, you must FOLLOW THROUGH. For example: “When you are ready for school, then you may watch TV.” If your child doesn’t do what needs to be done then there will be no screen time. Here is where life lessons take place. Where your child learns that their choices have consequences. They learn to trust you.
Steps To Decrease Screen Time
I know this is a lot of information and it’s only just the tip of the iceberg. Take what I have offered here and use it as food for thought. Start reflecting on your current household’s screen time situation. Think about your child’s behaviour and listening. What are the limits and boundaries you want set in your home? Have a conversation and teach your child about these limits, then give them room to make their own decisions and follow through no matter what. Decreasing screen time has so many benefits. It will bring your family closer, help your child’s brain cognition, improve sleep and allow for more physical fitness. Set your child up for success and set your screen time boundaries today!
PARENTING WORKSHOP – Toronto Based Parents
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