Sunday, 17 November 2013

Electronic entertainment - Not a boon to an infant

Many of today's children are growing up with continuous access to electronic media right from the time they get up till the time they hit the hay. Many marketers claim that exposing children to baby videos gives a head start but research shows that the opposite is true. The new media environment is a recent occurrence and no one still knows the full extent of exposing children to a constant stream of this stimuli. However it is a well known fact that babies brains are optimized to learn from social interactions. Exposing the kids to this new media world reduces the time they spend with other people and thereby can impair many aspects of their development. Multiple studies have shown that infant TV watching is correlated with poor language development. A Thai study published that children under 12 months who watched TV for more that 2 hours a day had a six-fold increase in the risk of language delay.
Exposure to baby TV watching is also associated with reduced cognitive ability. The quick and bright colours may also interfere with the normal development of attention. Studies reveal that electronic entertainment has no benefit and clear costs before the age of 2. However, educational TV exposures for older nursery-school-aged children is a mixed blessing (though it has its own pros and cons) depending on the information it offers. In this light "Go outside and play" is backed not only by commonsense but by modern brain research too!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Believe in your memory

We might have seen many people writing down everything they wish to remember on a piece of paper. Now my question is that, does this really help you out? As an educationalist, I would say that if you write things down with the intent of aiding your memory (as in case of kids for cramming poems etc.), then its fine. However, if you consider it as a substitute for memory, you are going to miserably fail because your memory will get worse through neglect and non-use. Please keep in mind that the memory should be trusted. The more you trust it, the more reliable and useful it will become. Writing down everything on paper, without trying to remember, is all against the basic rules of strong memory. This actually means
1. you are not trusting your memory;
2. neglecting the confidence in your memory ;
3. not exercising your memory;
4. your interest is not strong enough in retaining it.
I have had many parents complaining about the terrible memories of their children because they can't remember their school work and consequently score low grades. Yet, some of these same children are too good in remembering the cricket scores or the batting averages of top batsman. So can we stamp them as kids with poor memory? Absolutely no, it is only their lack of interest in academics and memory is not to be blamed. If kids can remember things that they are interested in to such a tremendous degree, it proves that they have a good memory. Hence this true memory needs to be believed in the first hand for proper training. Only then can any brain training sessions be successful. So start believing in your true memory!