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Executive function skills and screentime

5 May

Written By Kylie Maidment

The aim of this blog is to explore the key executive function skills your child/ tween/teen needs to be able to manage screen time (be it a phone, gaming on an iPad or social media).

Many parents I work with are battling issues with screen time, in particular the difficulties they face getting their child OFFLINE and back into the real world. We know why screens are addictive, for both adults and children.

Social apps and gaming content all work on the principal of intermittent reinforcement. Much of the content we see is boring. Just often enough we see something interesting that keeps us clicking. The delivery of rewards at irregular intervals is termed “intermittent” reinforcement. Sophisticated gaming and social media platforms use this technique to keep us online for longer with the end aim of getting us to view advertising and buy something. Popular games such as Roblox are purposely designed to keep kids fixated as long as possible and purchasing as much Robux as possible. Social media works in a similar way for teens and adults.

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