Video Games are good for children. Really?

I must admit as an educator and a parent the article “Playing High-Action Video Games May Speed Up Learning, Studies Say” in Education Week  surprised me.  “Clearly people are getting better at playing action video games,” Ms. Bavelier said, “but they are also getting better at other tasks in the lab that have a quite different flavor.” These include perception, attention, task-switching, and the ability to mentally rotate objects, a skill associated with higher math and geometry performance.”

This is contrary to what I have been taught about limiting screen time and how faced paced games can been too stimulating for young minds. On a daily basis, I talk to parents about limiting children’s exposure to ipads, computers, and video games.  I do think my position will remain unchanged when it comes to children under the age of four.  I still believe they need to play with real object, toys, and peers.  But the research is changing.  It is telling a different story.

The article “Is my child spending too much time playing video games?” in the Guardian gives some suggestions about how parents can set up their own healthy parameters around video games.  “Excessive behavior in any area of life rightly signals alarm bells for parents.  However, for emerging technology like games, it can be hard to identify excess over enthusiasm.  Is an hour a day okay?  Two?  It’s even harder to judge if you do not play games yourself.”  I do not play video games and this is my challenge.

I think the take home message for me is- be involved.  Monitor what your children are playing, when they play, and the time duration.  Any activity done in moderation is an experience, a life lesson, or a teachable moment.

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Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

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