We are living in completely unprecedented times. Before 2020, most people would have agreed that it’s wise to limit screen time for school-aged children. Now? It’s become a staple to stay connected and experience a semblance of a normal school or work day. It’s obvious this stress will be weighing on everyone – kids and adults alike. Additionally, it isn’t new knowledge that constant screen time isn’t ideal for children’s developing brains. With being forced to be on their devices for remote learning, I know I’m concerned about the effects for my kids short-term and long-term. The term “digital dementia” has become a real phenomenon since this age of technology strongly entered our lives. I’d like to address what we can do, that is within our control, to help support our kids at this time. These recommendations are helpful for us adults, as well - if stuck at home on the computer or Zoom calls all day!
1.) TAKE MOVEMENT BREAKS!
If our kids are to be expected to be on zoom calls for 2-3 hours (or more) per day, whenever possible, let them walk around and move their bodies. I know my kid’s remote learning schedule doesn’t seem to allot time for physical education at this moment. So we have to create it ourselves. During any breaks, run around the block, take a quick bike ride, or do some hopscotch in the driveway. Have a dance party! Anything that will get blood moving and stimulate their muscles and brain to fire differently will benefit them and leave them feeling more refreshed and more focused/ready for the next “session.” And I don’t care if it’s cold outside – as long as they are bundled and safe, the fresh air is immensely beneficial!
2.) GET OUTSIDE FOR FRESH AIR AND SUNLIGHT!
We cannot get enough light through windows alone. It’s important to engage our nervous system and fire up our sleep/wake cycle hormones to get physical light from outdoors frequently. It doesn’t have to be a long time – 5-10 minutes at a time will be sufficient. But it must be done to remain grounded and to turn on the appropriate brain chemicals/hormones and maintain alertness and focus.
3.) WORK ON SOMETHING TANGIBLE!
There is no substitute for a pencil and paper, especially in grades preceding high school/college level education. Screen free work is necessary to access different areas of the brain to allow for better retention of material. Most schools will likely be encouraging this, but if not, I’d recommend finding a way for your kids to work on something not electronically. Close the laptops, and write. Read. Do physical mathematics with a pencil or just draw. Creative juices flow more naturally when not bound to a device.
4.) PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS FROM THE UNSEEN IMPACTS OF EMF EXPOSURE!
Our bodies are enduring a lot more electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposure today than ever before. From microwaves, to tvs, to WiFi, cell phones…etc. The detrimental effects from these devices is still being discovered. But in the meantime, I’m careful about protecting myself and my children from these waves. I suggest utilizing a shield from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjtvOPHv7TrAhXJK80KHW1GCR4QFjACegQIARAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.osteopathieminderhout.nl%2Fuploads%2Ffiles%2FFreeShield0910(1).pdf&usg=AOvVaw0jhFVNzEdVmepmOBI51mRj. The geometric pattern of this image disrupts the ability for EMFs to transmit as easily into your body. I use one on my phone and on any computer/device in our home. It also works to print out a Star of David sticker as it seems to intercept and disperse the waves in a similar fashion.
I had a brief YouTube video on EMFs that provides some more information on why avoiding this exposure may be important for you, and how to best handle it. Feel free to check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLf2DMp1jBU and consider subscribing to my channel Dr. Christy Cares!
Let me know if you have any questions about any of my information here! I’m happy to help you determine the best course of action to keep yourself, and your kids healthy in spite of constant screen time!
Dr. Christy Matusiak