Screens are already accused of contributing to obesity and poor sleep. Additionary, screens can also compromise the brain development of very young children who are exposed to it too early and too often. Differently, educational toys for toddlers and kids are solutions for the above problems.
Joël Monzée, the doctor in neurosciences and psychotherapist, believes that Quebec is ripe for a major awareness campaign on the dangers of screens at a young age. Because these end up harming the overall development and behavior of toddlers and kids. “Throughout life, the brain will build and change depending on what we feed it with,” says Monzée.
Educational toys on another hand, have a show to help children to develop their adaptation in an effective manner.
The brain of a child too exposed to television programs, games on the tablet, computer or cell phone understands the world around him from these images. And not in relation to his bodily experience and his experiences of interaction with others. “What we realize is that children who spend too much time on tablets have difficulty drawing themselves, even at the age of 7 or 8 years. They draw big potatoes, or stick figures because they have trouble representing their bodies in space, ”says Mr. Monzée. A toddler or a kid who has not run enough tumbled, drawn or cut out, because he spent time in front of the screen, heads straight for learning difficulties from preschool education.
“The objective is not to put the screens in the trash. They are very useful in our lives and can even help with learning. It is really when the screen becomes the most important leisure activity that it is harmful, ”explains Mr. Monzée. In his practice, he notes that families who decide to reduce the screen time at home see their children once again want to live a family life and also class life, in interaction with others. Talking about interaction with other children of the community, educational toys for toddlers and kids, even for other ages, have shown a higher contribution to complete this effective educational method.
But he knows that it is not easy to remove a screen from the hands of a child because the latter quickly develops an addiction to that one. “The goal is not to make anyone feel guilty. Neither the parents nor the teachers, who use it to have a break, and it is legitimate sometimes. But you just have to watch out for abuse and get your balance back. ”
Along with family coach Nancy Doyon, Mr. Monzée also created the Coaching and Neurosciences Institute last year. This portal offers several free online pieces of training for parents, teachers, and educators who want to understand how the brain learns.
Risk of bullying
Mr. Monzée explains that various research studies point to screen overdose as the culprit of various difficulties that afflict toddlers and kids today: lack of concentration, hyperactivity, dyslexia, dysorthography, and other behavioral disorders.
A scientific study by Linda Pagani, from the University of Montreal, maintains that the more time a 2-year-old child spends in front of the television, the more he risks being bullied at the end of his elementary school. According to the researcher, the development of social relationships is crucial during early childhood, and it is through contact with others that the little one learns assertiveness and speech.
What television can’t teach them comparing to educational toys?
“I think that teachers are shooting themselves in the foot by using the tablet too much,” says Mr. Monzée also. Because they can never be as stimulating as apps that drop gold or play music when the child has a good answer. Mr. Monzée explains that children need to be bored to be creative. The New York Times revealed in 2014 that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, limited access to technological tools for his own children. Several media have reported that senior executives working in California’s Silicon Valley pay their children for a private school completely devoid of tablets or computers: the Waldorf School of the Peninsula. A question of allowing their imagination and creativity to develop
For Monzée, overstimulation through the screens can even affect the development of passions or the choice of career among toddlers and kids in preschool to secondary school. “They never ask themselves what is good for them, what they like to do.”
How long per day the children should consume the screens
Maximum recommended time in front of a screen (all types combined)
>> 0 to 2 years: none
>> 2 to 4 years old: one hour per day
>> 5 to 11 years old: two hours a day
Source: official recommendations of the Canadian Pediatric Society
The screen that stimulates the pleasure hormone
Why can any parent who turns off the TV, computer or tablet their toddlers and kids is watching can expect to see him cry or have a seizure? “Because the child is in need, his brain is in need,” says neuroscience doctor Joël Monzée.
The specialist explains that after an hour spent in front of the television or another screen, the child’s brain must take a few minutes to rebalance, to get used to no longer being overstimulated. As an alternative, the parents are encouraged to seek natural methods to educate children using educational toys, instead of digital products. While a number game can be played on tablets, there are other educational blocks that can help your toddler or kid to reach the same even better knowledge and interaction better than digital means.
Watching a program, playing a video game or frantically writing social media messages stimulates an area of the brain that is fun. The brain secretes a hormone, called dopamine, which is linked to pleasure and addiction.
“There is a feverishness, a difficulty in stopping which sets in. To write quickly or to win a video game, the brain has to stimulate the areas of the little hunter that is in me, ”explains Mr. Monzée.
As a result, these little children, who find themselves in a state of intense stress or overexcitement, are not necessarily welcome next in interactions at home or in the classroom. “For example, in a game where you have to kill zombies, you become an excellent warrior. But if at some point, the zombie becomes the little brother or the neighbor, it’s less funny, “says Mr. Monzée. Despite the situation seen in the modern families, it is important to highlight those social activities that bring the kids into social activities, like activities meeting other children has been showing a better approach to teach friendship skills to toddlers and kids
Establish boundaries and bring more educational toys
In brief, The specialist believes that you must learn to say no to toddlers and kids who constantly ask for contact with a screen so that they do not develop an addiction. “If my child begged me to have a glass of wine a day because he derives pleasure from it, I would say no. It should be the same for screens. You have to set boundaries, ”says Monzée.