Want to Raise Successful Kids? Science Says This Controversial Habit Makes Them Smarter

Suppose I have been to inform you that a dependancy most folks discourage — in reality, person who they could neatly have gotten into arguments with their children over -; may in reality lead to better intelligence?

Our topic lately is about video video games. A brand new learn about out of Europe used a “massive” quantity of information to resolve what occurs to children who spend an above moderate period of time enjoying them.

The effects are hanging, they usually constitute the newest and biggest learn about to achieve a identical, sure end result. They additionally constitute a reason why to do the other of what many fogeys have preached for many years or extra.

Writing within the on-line peer-reviewed magazine Scientific Reports, researchers mentioned they discovered that youngsters who spent extra time enjoying video video games than their friends over a 2-year duration wound up with upper IQs consequently. 

As the authors summarized:

“While youngsters who performed extra video video games at ten years [old] have been on moderate not more clever than youngsters who did not sport, they confirmed probably the most positive factors in intelligence after two years, in each girls and boys. 

For instance, a kid who used to be within the best 17% in the case of hours spent gaming greater their IQ about 2.5 issues greater than the typical kid over two years.

This is proof of a really helpful, causal impact of video video games on intelligence.” 

I’ve emphasized those two words, “causal impact,” because so often in these kinds of studies we’re left to wonder whether it’s simply a matter of correlation, meaning perhaps that children who become smarter for unrelated reasons, also happen to play video games.

But here, the authors explicitly say they believe it’s the video game playing itself that leads to higher intelligence.

The researchers, at universities in the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, interviewed thousands of American children, and used data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) program, which bills itself as “the biggest long-term learn about of mind construction and kid well being within the United States.”

They connected with  5,000 children least twice: first, when they were between 9 and 10 years old, and then again two years later, at ages 11 and 12. 

Each time, they tracked how much the children said they spent their time doing three screen-related activities:

  • Watching online videos or TV shows (2.5 hours per day, on average)
  • Socializing online (presumably via social media) (30 minutes per day, on average)
  • Playing video games (one hour per day, on average)

As the researchers noted, that adds up to about four hours of screen time per day on average; a number that climbed to six hours per day for the top 25 percent. Either way, it’s a huge portion of their free time.

They also tested the children for an intelligence index that included five tasks:

  • “two [tasks] on reading comprehension and vocabulary,”
  • “one on attention and executive function (which includes working memory, flexible thinking and self-control),”
  • “one assessing visual-spatial processing (such as rotating objects in your mind),” and 
  • “one on learning ability over multiple trials.”

In the end, they found that while those who spent the most time playing video games saw their IQs go up the most, while those who spent more of their screen time watching videos or socializing saw little to no difference.

This isn’t the first study to suggest significant cognitive benefits to playing video games.

But the study authors, including Torkel Klingberg of the department of neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Bruno Sauce, of the department of biological psychology at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, say theirs is different because it took the children’s genes and socioeconomic status into account.

“Many parents feel guilty when their children play video games for hours on end. Some even worry it could make their children less clever,” the authors wrote.

But if there truly is a “causal” dating between video video games and intelligence, and if, “[i]ntelligence is an important trait in our lives and highly predictive of a child’s future income, happiness and longevity,”does this imply oldsters must inspire their youngsters to play video video games up to imaginable?

Well, that’s controversial, of course. And, I’d raise two points to consider:

First, there are other health challenges associated with too much screen time in general.

And second, if the children weren’t playing video games so often, would they simply be watching videos, instead?

Or would they be reading books and learning math or studying languages, which might have an even greater effect on increased intellect?

As I write in my free ebook, How to Raise Successful Kids (7th Edition), there comes a time in a lot of success people’s lives when they start to measure success not just by what they achieve themselves, but by what they pass on to the next generation, including their kids.

Maybe studies like this one are part of that reaching that goal.

“Our results should not be taken as a blanket recommendation for all parents to allow limitless gaming,” the researchers wrote. “But for those parents bothered by their children playing video games, you can now feel better knowing that it’s probably making them a tad smarter.”

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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