Will watching the TV make us ‘a little bit special?’

In aid of becoming a 2017, care free, less anxious, ‘hippy’ I have taken to switching off the TV, the Tablet and the iPhone in preference for a little light reading here and there. Something that I loved to do as a child, yet very rarely allow myself the luxury to do now. Even worse, when I do allow myself the time, it seems I can not relax in to reading very successfully. I become irritable, uncomfortable and constantly itch to re-check my emails.


Yet should we all be reading a little more? Studies show that reading strengthens neural pathways like any other muscle in the body. Children who are read to by their parents develop  ‘improved reading skills such as advanced vocabulary, word recognition in spoken words, ability to connect written letters to spoken sounds, reading comprehension, and the fluency to read text accurately and quickly’ (Medical daily). Not only this, but the imagination involved in reading enhances creativity, sensitivity and provides a feeling of escapism – even from a very young age.


Sadly, however, we are becoming fixed to our screens and back lights. Along with headaches, dry eyes, rolled over shoulders and a lack of vitamin D when confined to the ‘not as great indoors’, watching too much TV either on our screen or on our Tablets can reduce our ability to communicate.


In 2015, Cerebral Cortex journal published a study researching 276 children between the ages of 5-18 years. The results showed that the more time spent in front of a screen, the thicker their frontal lobe within the brain (the area associated with LOWER language processing and communication.) Likewise, these children were also associated with a lower verbal IQ, behavioural difficulties in the classroom, delayed language aquisition and aggressive behaviours.


It is now felt that allowing your child to sit for 2 or more hours a day, in front of the television specifically, can result in greater psychological difficulties in later life.


Today it is difficult to entertain children with modern day busy lives. Yet potentially J.K. Rowling and fellow child authors have done us a huge favour. By producing engaging books for younger audiences, they may not only be assisting parents in child care, but theynmay well be enhancing the next generation’s IQ.



#health #wellness #life #reading #hippy #readforlife

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