Brain drain is common in the Summer. It’s a time to unwind and have unfettered access to computers and games. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, yeah, but it should have some limits.
These days, kids are getting 400% more screen time than they should.
According to Dr. Robert Melillo, co-founder of Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a holistic, drug-free approach to addressing behavioral, social, and learning difficulties—the average kid has 7.5 hours of screen time per day, compared to the recommended 1.5 hours. Studies show that excess screen time inhibits right brain development—leading to short attention spans and inhibited social development.
Here are his suggestions on how to ease up the screen time this Summer:
1. SCREEN-FREE ACADEMICS
Many parents turn to “educational” apps to feel better about screen time, but a screen is still a screen. To encourage traditional childhood learning, present your kids with an array of books or academic workbooks, or take them to museums.
2. SUMMER CAMP
Try enrolling your child in a summer camp, but be sure the camp is strictly screen-free. There are many creative camps that include arts and crafts, musical theater, and dancing, or a sports-oriented program that encourages outdoor activities like swimming and soccer.
3. ALTERNATIVE INDOOR ACTIVITIES
Screens can be used as an easy tactic to calm a difficult child. If your child tends to lack focus, they might also get bored while playing games. You may find yourself giving in and allowing them to watch more TV or iPad shows than you would normally approve of. Outdoor activities are an alternative way to pique their interest.
Since the right hemisphere of the brain regulates impulsivity, attention, and socially appropriate behavior, a child with decreased right brain activity may be hyperactive, oppositional, disruptive, and often distracted. To see if your child’s screen use might be linked to a brain imbalance, take this simple online assessment: https://www.