Parenting Connection: How phones ruin concentration

Parenting Connection


It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How Phones Ruin Concentration

Over the course of the next few weeks — thousands of area students will start for the first time in basically a year — in-person instruction again. This will bring back a small sense of normalcy, but this will also mean parents may need to speak to their kids about their smartphones.

A recent study by the University of Chicago showed the mere presence of a smartphone reduces a person’s ability to focus. In fact, during the study, the students who were asked to leave their phones in another room did much better on cognitive tests than those who were asked to silence their phones and leave them face down on their desk or in a bag.

Researchers say this “brain drain” seems to impact pre-teens and teenagers the most because phones are also where young people do a lot of their socializing now. So, developmental experts and educators are hoping parents can use the following tips in order for their kids to reduce the brain drain – and they include:

*Set up a homework routine that minimizes distractions.

*Establish Clear Rules. For example, no phones during homework time or establishing when screens can be used.

*Discourage Multitasking. Most kids think they are good at it, but studies show multitasking interferes with productivity.

*Role Model Healthy Habits. It’ll be impossible to get your kids to buy-in if you don’t also part ways with your phone when doing something that needs your full concentration.

It’s hard, I know. Our phones are now a part of us, but new research again shows students of all ages can successfully do their homework or assignments, if they are able to focus — and phones make it almost impossible to accomplish.

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