“Get off the phone!” “Turn off the TV!” These phrases echoed through my childhood home as my parents implored me to focus on my school work.
Inspiring our kids to perform academically has never been easy, but the challenges today are different, and in some ways harder that youth growing up in the 70s 80s or even the 90s. Where before there was a clear dividing line between applying oneself (going to the library, reading a book, working on a worksheet) and distraction (looking out a window, watching TV, or listening to music), these two types of activities have converged behind a screen.
For students, “multitasking” is often looked at as a virtue if not a required skill. However a quick review of research literature reveals that while many of us believe we can effectively multitask, almost none of us can. Worse, while we think we’re multitasking, we’re likely to take longer to do our work and make far more mistakes. This problem is compounded for students with their homework in one window with email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat waiting in the wings.
Screen time is not only overlapping school time, but also social time. As parents seem less and less willing to let their children go outside or visit with a nearby friend (and friends become less accessible as sidewalks become the exception rather than the rule) socialization moves out of the neighborhood and into the Internet in the form of texting, social media, and multiplayer online games.
The screens aren’t going away, but that doesn’t mean that students and parents are powerless to change the emerging fusion of school, entertainment, and socialization. Here are a few ideas that can make a big difference in students’ lives.
You Don’t Have to go it Alone
I specialize in helping students and their families navigate the evolving technological landscape to succeed academically and socially. I hope the tips above are helpful to you, but if you’d like to learn more or work on specific issues with your student, please reach out to me at Northeast Georgia Counseling at 770-271-5040.