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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