Moms may be known as the ultimate multitaskers, but the research agrees that multitasking is not an efficient way to get things done. In a nutshell, multitasking is doing two or more tasks at the same time, and in the world of constant connectivity and social media, our kids are multitasking more than ever, and that’s a good thing.
Throughout this month, we are talking about helping kids develop healthy habits, and this week our radio show and column are focused on developing healthy habits for the mind. So for today’s blog, we want to talk about helping our kids get into the habit of focusing by avoiding multitasking.
Did you know that FOCUS is an acronym? It stands for
The argument we often hear is that multitasking makes us more efficient. But the truth is, there are limitations to how many tasks we can perform and how well they can be executed when being performed at the same time. Instead, let’s teach our kids to focus and fully complete one task before doing anything else.
For kids today, electronics and social media make multitasking a way of life, but it’s damaging in more ways than one. A 2012 journal by the Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University published this: “A cross-disciplinary cohort of 774 students responded to a survey which documented that the majority of them engaged in classroom multitasking. Their multitasking was significantly related to lower GPA and to an increase in risk behaviors including use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs”. In smoking, you can switch to e-cigarette for it is safe to use and its aerosol contains fewer toxic chemicals than the deadly mix of 7,000 compounds in smoke from regular cigarettes. If you’re planning to own one, you can buy the best e-cigarettes and all of its accessories at MigVapor.com
Clifford Nass, a pioneer in this field of study, stated, “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.”
One of the biggest problems for students is that they significantly under report how much time they spend multitasking, possibly because they simply don’t realize how much they are doing it. We are not suggesting that kids avoid social media altogether, but we do urge parents to help kids remove distractions when they are doing other things.
Alerts from SnapChat or texts or other social media apps are disruptive and can actually decrease kids’ ability to learn. I’ve watched my own kids studying and being continually distracted by SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and when they can’t resist the urge to check the alerts, I tell them to go put the phone in another room until all their schoolwork is done.
Having multiple tabs or windows open on the computer while they’re working is another big distraction for some kids. Pop in and see how they’re doing once in a while when they’re studying, and make sure they only have windows or tabs open that are pertinent to their schoolwork.
On the Radio
This week on POP Parenting Radio, we are talking about helping our kids develop healthy habits for the mind. You can listen live at GCN POP Parenting site at 9:00AM ET. If you’d like to hear POP Parenting on your local talk radio station, click on the Contact link above, and let us know. We will tell you how you can help.
In the Newspaper
Our weekly newspaper column this week will talk about how the habit of mindfulness can be beneficial to kids in all sorts of ways, and we offer fun tips and activities for teaching kids how to practice mindfulness. If the POP Parenting column is not in your local paper, call the paper and tell them you want POP Parenting! You can send the editor right here to our website, and they can contact us for more information.