This is Your Kid’s Brain on Tech

Truth: Raising kids today is infinitely harder than in years past. And even though our parents want to give us tips on how to parent, they really have no idea what it’s like with this level of tech immersion. In fact, our kids (known as gen Alpha) will be the first generation to only know a world dominated by digital.

The result: Tech now leaves a completely different footprint on the developing kids’ brain, making focus, learning, and self-regulation harder to achieve.

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Executive Function: Parent Homework

We’ve been talking about executive function heavily for the past couple weeks, so by now you should have a grasp on how it all works. But, what does this mean for us as parents?

Executive functions aren’t concrete, fast skills to learn, but they do need to be pointed out intentionally as you go along. We’re not asking you to put something entirely new on your plate, but instead become more intentional with the activities and experiences you do with your kids.

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Crash course: Executive Functions

It’s your choice.

Do you remember what I said?

What do you think we should do?

How are we going to fix this?

You’ve probably said this to your kid (or significant other) many a times, but did you know that these statements and questions engage executive function?

Any goal-driven process or activity that requires conscious thought is utilizing some degree of executive function (a set of mental skills that allow us to appropriately interact with our environment). Look at it like your brain’s upper management or “the executives” in charge of our behavior and cognition as they help plan, organize, and manage many tasks in our everyday life.  

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Course Notes: Sleep

We’re back with another Course Notes mini-series.

I recently took a Continuing Ed course called The Sensory and Sleep Connection. Although we know that sleep is an important component to our general well-being, it is frequently overlooked when it comes to our physical, emotional, and mental health. We’ve all experienced a lack of sleep (remember the newborn days?) and the feeling when we are trying to function without it; but imagine how our kids are doing, especially when they’re still growing. It made me want to investigate the occupation of sleep (yes, sleep is an occupation) and why we all need to get some good shut-eye.

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Trying to Focus: Kids and Attention

Children have short attention spans.

I know this seems super obvious, but it’s something my husband and I are currently working on with our almost 5-year-old. If he’s interested in a topic, he’ll be engaged for hours, like when he’s learning about animals or conducting science experiments. But give that kid a simple instruction and he’ll forget it or become distracted in seconds flat. Yeah, it sounds like every kid at this age, but it made me want to revisit what I currently know (and research more) about attention and how to best help my son improve it.

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