4 tips to boost your child’s intelligence and mental health in digital age

Childhood offers prime opportunities for learning and cognitive development. However, in the digital age, excessive device usage may impede this process by reducing the cognitive challenges essential for brain growth. Continuous exposure to digital screens can shorten children’s attention spans, making it challenging for them to focus for extended periods. Additionally, the instant gratification from constant internet access may hinder critical thinking and problem-solving skills as children opt for quick answers rather than working through challenges.

Furthermore, excessive screen time can impact the development of social skills in children, as they may become less interested in face-to-face interactions crucial for building emotional intelligence and empathy. Exposure to blue light emitted by screens can also disrupt children’s sleep patterns, affecting brain function and learning abilities.

Renowned psychologist Hiranandani, in an interview with HT Digital, highlights the concerning effects of excessive screen time on children’s mental health and intelligence. She offers practical tips for parents to mitigate these challenges:

  1. Reduce Multitasking: Encourage children to focus on one task at a time rather than multitasking with multiple devices simultaneously. Research suggests that multitasking can impair performance and increase the risk of accidents.
  2. Embrace “Niksen”: Adopt the Dutch practice of “niksen,” which encourages individuals to embrace moments of idleness and do nothing. This practice promotes creativity and mental well-being by allowing the mind to wander freely without distractions.
  3. Limit Dependency on Technology: Encourage children to selectively offload tasks to technology and prioritize experiencing moments firsthand rather than relying on digital devices to capture every moment.
  4. Cultivate “Flow” State: Encourage children to find activities that allow them to enter a state of flow, characterized by deep concentration and enjoyment. Whether it’s playing an instrument or engaging in household chores, fostering flow experiences can enhance cognitive development and overall well-being.

By implementing these strategies, parents can help mitigate the negative effects of excessive screen time and promote their children’s cognitive development and mental health in the digital age.

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