97% of Our Kids are Involved in This Addictive, Brain Slowing Activity

Caution

My kids are included in the 97% and likely yours are too. That is not to say they are addicted or that their minds are affected, but the research says they could be. And it is no wonder. It is seemingly innocuous and makes a great babysitter. What is it? I will give you a hint. When we were kids, we had our choice of Intellivision or Atari. That’s right, it is video games. Now I know what you are thinking…its just video games. That is what I thought as well until I started doing some research. Below are a few items of interest, and I will imbed a few links to the articles so you can read and make your own determinations:

  • Among elementary and middle school kids, the average girl plays 5.5 hours per week and the average boy plays 13 hours per week.
  • Preschoolers average 28 minutes per day.
  • Some studies suggest video games can assist in developing fine motor skills, but this is far outweighed by physical maladies that include nerve compression, muscular and skeletal disorders, posture disorders, and increases in childhood obesity.
  • Studies show that the amount of time spent on video games affects overall performance in five main areas including academic, social, occupational, developmental, and behavioral.
  • Studies suggest high volume video gamers are far more likely to develop social/emotional disorders.
  • University research indicates that excessive video gaming increases listlessness and discontentment in traditionally slower-paced and less stimulating classroom environments and has been shown to reduce empathy in school age children.

We are so often bombarded with people telling us that our children’s violent video games may make them murderers. I know what you are thinking, and I agree. But it appears that there are consequences to excessive video games, and they may be subtle at times, but very real. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children limit their time in front of all electronic screens to less than two hours per day. Yeah…Sure…But based on the research, less is definitely better.

 

Until next time,

Jeff

 

*From the title, 97% involvement with video gaming among school age children is from the Pew Research Center.

About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→