Can Screen Time Alter your Child’s Brain?

Are you having trouble getting your child to spend less time in front of a tablet or video game system? Children this day in age don’t know a life where there was no such thing as screen time. Over the last decade or so, electronics and screen time have become a part of everyday life for children of all ages. The question that many parents have begun to ask is if screen time can alter your child’s brain. Based on recent studies, results have shown that excessive screen time may in fact alter your child’s brain over time. At CBT Counseling Centers, we are here to help you navigate this difficult issue and find ways to get your child away from their tablet, smartphone, computer, video game or television.

Excessive Screen Time’s Negative Impact

The National Institutes of Health recently conducted a study involving more than 11,000 children between ages 9-10. Results from this study found that by reviewing MRI results, there were definite differences in the brains of children that engaged in 7 hours or more of screen time each day. Additionally, language and thinking test scores were notably lower for children who spent more than 2 hours of screen time each day.  Other research has found that screen time can also harm the health of children as well. Common health issues that may arise from excessive screen time include obesity, depression and sleep issues. Screen time can truly become addictive for children. Studies have found that dopamine, a brain chemical, is released when children utilize electronic devices, especially when they engage in social media applications.

The Future will Tell

As far as long-term impact of screen time and children, we simply will not know for many years because excessive screen time is a relatively new issue that families are dealing with, and there’s only a small sample size of overall research at this point in time. The future will tell as far as whether or not screen time can alter your child’s brain over the long term.

Family Counseling Help from CBT Counseling Centers

At CBT Counseling Centers, the last thing that we want is for you and your family to tackle these screen time issues on your own. Our trusted and experienced counselors specialize in family counseling and we have plenty of tools and resources that can help your child take a step back from the amount of time they spend in front of their smartphone, tablet, computer, television, etc. Our goal focused counseling may be the missing piece that your child needs to reduce their screen time usage.

If you feel like your child is spending too much time each day with electronics, it’s time for you to partner with our expert family counselors at CBT Counseling Centers. To learn more about how screen time can impact cognitive development in children or to schedule an appointment with our staff, give us a call today at (828) 350-1177.