Weekly Updates from Mrs. K
January 21, 2022
From the Principal's Desk
Screentime in Children - The Danger is REAL
The average child spends over fifty-two hours a week in front of electronic media. It is no longer a question as to why managing screens, from toddlers to teens, has quickly become the largest parenting challenge today.
The brain matures from the back to the front, from less complicated skills to more complicated skills. It takes approximately 25 years for the frontal cortex, the executive/judgment center in the front of the brain, to reach full maturity. Parents need to take control of their child’s screen time because the child’s judgment and impulse control center is not fully functioning yet—the child physically cannot self-regulate.
Your child’s activities will create the neuronal structure for their future brain. Healthy activities make for well balanced fully connected brains while excessive screen use leads to imbalanced and fragmented brains. Young brains need plenty of movement, touch, attachment to family, varied activities, and exposure to nature for optimal development of neuronal pathways.
Around puberty the brain experiences neuronal pruning—the pathways that are most used will be kept and strengthened, and the ones that are not used will be pruned away in order for the brain to function efficiently. There is only a short window of opportunity for important developmental activities to occur. Screens can get in the way of more important activities in a child’s developmental life.
Activities that help develop executive function are found in real life and are generally not found doing screen activities. In fact, screen activity can interrupt executive function skills formation by creating a long-term toxic stress state, isolating your child, and exposing him to trauma and violence. In addition, when a child is left on screens all day there is an opportunity cost. She is missing out on the opportunities for executive function building activities. So, even if the screen content is acceptable—not chronically stressful or violent—the time taken from healthy brain activities can stunt a child’s development.
*Retrieved 21 January 2022, from https://screenstrong.com/kidsbrainsandscreens/
Want more information? We have several copies of this book available in the front office to loan to parents.
Questions You Could Ask
- How do you know what you are feeling? How can you tell how someone else is feeling?
- When do you feel most excited? Most upset? Most happy? Most sad?
- How do you show Empathy towards your friends when they are sad?
- What are things others might do when they’re sad, worried or frustrated? What might they say?
Please Help Us Keep Our School Open
Our McKinley families have been wonderful about this policy! Thank you for helping us keep everyone in our school in good health!