6 tips to dose the technology with the return to school

Technology has become an essential tool in our day-to-day life and that of our children. But abusing it can be harmful. Because of that, we offer you six practices that you can adopt so that your children can measure their use of digital media and increase your academic performance in this back to school.

There is a return to school and many parents find themselves in the difficult position of determining whether the use of technology by children is more harmful than beneficial, or vice versa. Undoubtedly, technology is fundamental to enhance children's learning and intellectual capacities, but the abuse of electronic devices has its risks.

To find a healthy balance in the use of technology it is necessary to understand the effects that the use of electronic devices has on our nervous system and on that of our children. Dr. Manuel Antonio Fernández, a specialist in Pediatric Neurology explains that "being rewarding, immediate and repetitive, technology generates an insatiable effect on children, something that affects their school performance."

The cryptonite of the smallest

The use of new technologies by children can produce changes in brain structure and functioning. The new devices have a series of features that stimulate our reward system at the brain level. "How?, Giving him what he asks and making him insatiable," says Dr. Fernandez. These are the three types of response that technologies generate in our nervous system:

1. Reward gratifying. The number of options, their omnipresence and easy access to media such as mobile, computer and Tablet make children and young people have an answer to their will without the need for effort.

2. Immediate response. The electronic devices are immediate, so they stimulate in an intense and direct way our cerebral reward mechanism.

3. Repetitive or unlimited response. It is the one that produces the most dependence. The contents of the applications and the web are unlimited and can be repeated as many times as we want.

Practices to increase academic performance

Hyperfocalization and dependence on devices limits our capacity for attention, which directly affects learning and study. "It is not about relegating the role of electronics to a secondary level, but the 'dosing' of technology should not be a temporary or exceptional measure, the objective is for children to learn how to manage it and give it the right use," says the Dr. Fernández.

These are six practices that will help your children improve their academic performance:

1. If you study, the technology is out of reach. Interruptions and distractions caused by the mobile, for example, produce a drop in performance.

2. Minimize and relativize the feeling of loss. By leaving technology aside, a sense of loss and anxiety can occur in young people. To correct this, it is necessary that, as parents, we talk about the subject rationally with our children, thus educating their emotional intelligence.

3. Moments for everything, and each one for his own. Setting specific schedules is a good way to educate children about the use of technology. Having to perform their duties, for example, before using the Tablet, will make them experience the effort and reward of having done everything.

4. Encourage the effort as a rewarding response. "It is based on the explanation to the children of the importance that as a parent is given to the effort over the results, for example, valuing the time dedicated to the study over the results and rewarding the first versus the second", explains Dr. Fernandez.

5. Development of waiting tolerance. A good idea for this is to establish a reward program with points, which can then be exchanged for bonuses. Thus, the positive response is delayed in exchange for the expectations of achieving them, enhancing the effort.

6. And if you use technology, better shared. The social use of technology has less negative repercussions than the individual.

Isabel López Vásquez
Advice:Dr. Manuel Antonio Fernández, Specialist in Pediatric Neurology of TopDoctors.

Video: Ellen Introduces Kids to the Technology of Yesterday

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