Overstimulated, isolated, sedentary, anxious, depressed children can get that way from staying in the house all day. This may happen because:

  • Many parents are overanxious about their kids getting hurt and they think that their kids are safer in the house.
  • Parents don’t understand the benefits of outdoor play.
  • Moms can’t take their screens outside to watch the kids because of the glare and battery life so,  they plug their kids in and they all stay inside connected to technology.
  • Kids complain about being hot and un-entertained outside.

To wrap up this series on the critical developmental factors that every child needs, I will address the issue of nature in your child’s life. Nature is the bow that wraps the other three critical developmental factors together: attachment, touch, movement. It seems like a simple factor but don’t skim this post too fast, you may miss the scientific reasons why nature is good for your child.

Outdoor play is a biological necessity for children. We need the stimulation of the



Children can’t learn if they don’t move. Many moms don’t fully understand the scientific importance of movement in our child’s life. We may see it more as a behavior issue and mistakenly equate being still to being obedient. But movement is critical for healthy brain development.  There is exciting research on the importance of movement, exercise, and brain health. Exercise increases the blood flow to the frontal cortex resulting in better executive brain function,  it also increases the growth of new neurons in the areas of the brain essential for learning and memory. Children need to move a lot to learn, to establish



Touch is the second critical requirement for healthy child development according to Occupational Therapist Cris Rowan. She describes it this way, “Adequate touch helps a child to know where their body is in space, and is important for helping a child to feel calm and relaxed. A child who is deprived of touch exhibits anxiety, fear and has difficulty adapting to any new environment or situation.” 

Until I began my research on the effects of tech overuse I instinctively knew that physical touch was important for kids but I never purposefully incorporated it into our daily lives. We hugged and we snuggled while reading a book but I didn’t know what I didn’t know




This week I am covering the three most important things every child needs for healthy development.  First, a secure attachment and connection to family is essential for healthy brain and emotional development and ultimate success for your child. This bonding begins at birth and is essential for survival; it is so important that a baby will die without it.  While we seem to be purposeful about bonding with our infants we must remember to continue to strengthen that family attachment bond as our children grow. They must feel safe and connected with a sense of belonging to their family and/or

“Just one more level!”

dsc_0124cOne thing that gaming overuse allowed in our house was what I call gaming disobedience. This is when you call your child for dinner and you get the famous “Just one more level mom” response.  Or there is the moody temper episodes over undone homework and undone chores because the game is more important than other life responsibilities in their minds. Tolerating gaming arguments, bargaining for more time and allowing gaming disobedience are all signs of gaming overuse and it is exhausting.   Why did I allow this? I

On the Air!

This morning (three MMM moms) Allison, Ellen and I  joined Bo Thompson for his morning talk show on WBT Charlotte News Talk radio! Listen here: Bo did a great job with the interview and Dr. Doan joined us via phone explaining the science behind screen time and the brain.  Among other things discussed we…

30 Minutes Outside!


Making a decision to reduce the media consumption in your home will require some thought,  creativity and planning as you replace the screen with traditional play.  In his book Play, Dr. Stuart Brown makes a scientific case for more unstructured play in all of our lives.  Giving our children the gift of a rich play history will benefit them their whole lives. When technology is such a big part of  your family life, it an be a challenge to think outside the box (literally) and come up with answers to  “Mom, I’m bored, what can I do?” When this question is asked in a whiny voice on an empty stomach at 5 p.m., it is worse.  Unless you have a plan, you may find yourself giving into digital play over and