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The Dangerous Effects Of Screen Time On Brain Development
The effects of screen time on our kids is a huge concern for parents, and rightly so. A new study on the effects of screen time on brain development has parents rethinking how they allow kids to spend their time. This study compared how both screen time and reading affected the brain. The study makes a comparison between kids who spend a lot of time in front of screens such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and TV and those who read books instead. Altogether, the results were astounding.
Kids who spent time in front of screens had poorer connectivity in language skills and also in cognitive control. Furthermore, excessive screen time significantly affected brain connectivity. Poor brain connectivity adversely affects a child’s ability to communicate. Lower cognitive control means that the ability to make good decisions is altered.
This study is not an isolated account. Other studies have also linked screen addiction to mental health and behavioral issues. Some other effects of screen time on brain development can include difficulty forming and maintaining relationships and poor social interaction. Excessive screen time can affect sleep, increase the risk of obesity, and cause emotional instability.
The Positive Effects Reading Has On Brain Development
As it turns out, while screen time can have damaging effects on brain development, reading can have the polar opposite effect. The kids involved in the study who spent their time reading books had improved brain connectivity in the same areas. Psychology Today even reports that books and stories have a profound effect on the shaping of our children’s minds and, ultimately, their lives.
Moreover, listening to an audio adventure can make your child more sympathetic and even empathetic toward others. Increasing brain connectivity actually makes your brain grow and makes you smarter. In other words, the effects on your child’s brain from reading a book are immensely positive and beneficial.
Finding An Alternative To Replace Screen Time
It would seem that limiting screen time is the simple answer to this complicated issue. But, in our society, kids are constantly bombarded with technology and visual information. Simply limiting screen time will not yield the results and benefits that you want for your child until you offer them a healthier alternative. Giving kids a place to unplug and unwind helps to fill the time and the need for stimulation and entertainment. Audio adventures are a great replacement for screen time. They can also help to ease the transition from excessive screen time to a more healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Audio Adventures Can Replace Screen Time
Audio adventures provide all of the same benefits that reading a book provides and more. Reading a book allows the mind to become absorbed in the story and to relate to the characters. Audio adventures enable you to feel what the characters feel and to put yourself in their shoes. They make the characters easy to connect with.
With audio adventures, the characters and storyline are even more real. As you listen to the voice of each character and hear the ebb and flow of the background music, you become immersed in the experience. Science shows that this type of connection can increase attention span, focus, and memory.
Using Audio Adventures To Counter Screen Addiction
These destructive effects of screen time on brain development are too serious to ignore. Start setting some limits and making some changes in your child’s routine. Adding audio adventures to your child’s day is one step in the right direction. Your child’s brain develops best through creative play, interaction and connection with others, encouraging curiosity, and regular family routines. All of these can be nurtured by making audio adventures something that your whole family enjoys together.
You may also consider reading another Live The Adventure Letter article: Audio Learning Can Make Your Kids Better Writers
What are your thoughts on the effects of screen time on brain development? Let us know in the comments below.