Low Tech Home.

Many moms have a hidden fear from the time their babies are born that their child will be left behind other children one way or another. (After your third or fourth child,  you get a little less worried!)  With technology now in every corner of our world, moms fear that their children are missing out…

“Mom can I borrow the car keys and your frontal cortex?”

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Did you know? The human brain does not mature until age 25 and you can’t speed it up!

This wonderful chart shows an MRI of the gradual development of the same brain images taken at different ages.  The brain matures from back to front with the frontal cortex or expectative center maturing last (decision making, reasoning, problem solving, impulse control.) As your child’s brain develops it is organizing the neuronal pathways that it will use the rest of its life. Because of this, your child is very sensitive to outside life experiences and actions including screen time and gaming.

What does this mean for gaming?

*Repetition: Neuronal connections are made every time your child experiences a new activity and the pathway must be fired over and over during the development process to gain competence in that activity.  How much gaming is really necessary for your child? Is gaming a skill that you want him to invest in and become an expert at?

*Release of neurochemicals  with gaming: Gaming activates the limbic system in the brain and after just 20 minutes of play  it reduces connections to the frontal cortex.  In our house we call it the game coma when extended game play renders the child moody, glazed over and unable to easily communicate with others (and come to dinner when called!); brain science explains why.

*Pruning occurs during early childhood when neuronal pathways that are not being used
are shut down while pathways that are used a lot get stronger. Do you want your child to have strong reading pathways or video gaming pathways?

*There are rich windows of opportunity for learning and gaining new skills during the early

Book vs. screen reading.

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Another study* just came out to say that our comprehension is better when we read an actual paper book instead of reading the same book on a digital screen.

Why?

Because paper books stimulate a wider variety of senses than screens do, activating deeper memory banks in the brain. The increased sensory experience of book reading fires more neuronal pathways which translates into more brain activity and more brain connections resulting in better recall.

Emotions like empathy, character identification and emersion are higher with paper book reading and these emotions help with recall. According to the study, the ability to recall accurate chronicle order of the story is also higher with paper book reading. The feeling of where you are in the story is physically apparent in a book as finished pages move from your right hand to your left hand. The touch and feel of a book is very different than the touch and feel of a screen. Screens are also bright and distracting which may cause a bit

Emotion vs. Emoticon

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A recent study has confirmed again what every mom already knows: technology use reduces our child’s ability to read non verbal social cues and emotional information from others. Even though you are looking at your digital screen as you read this, you can see that the photo on the left is much more descriptive than the emoticon on the right. But if you were actually in the room with this child many more of your senses would be activated as you would also hear the contagious belly laugh, watch the bouncing body movement and get the message loud and clear that this was a happy kid. You would feel it with your emotions and it would make you smile. The image on the right is more shallow and does not give the same cues. Very important emotional information is missing when we text, rather than when we talk face to face.

According to a new UCLA study, people need more face to face interaction away from screens.  Digital media overuse/imbalance is causing a decline in our children’s ability to