Does screen time benefit my child in any way?
Electronic devices and television may not actually harm your brain! Over the years, there has been much debate in the neuroscience research about whether or not TV and electronic devices kill your brain cells. It turns out, that our kids’ brains can actually be changed for the better! We just have to WATCH!
TV and electronic device use does change our brains. Spoiler alert: So does just about any kind of repeated stimulation and learning. Naturally our brains are constantly changing. That’s what makes them so adaptive. With screen time, our visual centers can be enhanced and the areas involved in fine motor skills can increase. Certain aspects of problem solving can improve. Schools have even seen an increase in student engagement, motivation, and learning.
The issue has been with kids and teenagers who watch extended amounts of TV, those who are addicted to electronic devices, and those who watch violent content. These kids have been shown to develop larger parts of their brains that we associate with maladaptive behaviors, like those associated with aggressive tendencies or mood disorders.
Excessive use can also cause problems with cognitive functioning, like slower processing, poor inhibition, or cause issues in the reward system, which impairs behavior and makes kids less likely to do things that are good for them.
Most kids who experience a reasonable amount of screen time, however, can benefit from the advances in technology to improve their learning.
When it comes to screen time, we know certain things are bad…