Learning Rx: Screen time or green time?

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Screen time is pegged as educational allowing kids to get a jump start on things, gain a technical edge by utilizing educational games and apps. The average child ages 2-8 spends over 2 hours per day in front of a screen, and children 8-18 spend over 7 hours per day in front of a screen.

Photo source: Richard Leeming / CC BY 2.0 / MGN

Computers, smartphones and tablets are consuming the majority of a child's day. Time that should be spent socializing, playing outside and learning is instead spent in front of a screen.

Tablets are the ultimate shortcut tool, they spoon feed information to kids rather than having to take time to process information and use mental effort, kids get lazy. This lack of cognitive efforts leads to cognitive skills becoming or remaining weak, causing kids to be impulsive, moody and unable to pay attention.

We know we can train and retrain the brain...it's moldable. Through our environment, we can make the brain weaker or make it stronger.

Despite everything we might think is good – like electronic 'educational' games – we have unfortunately remolded our children's brains in the wrong direction.