Improve Academic and Organizational Skills
Make no mistake about it, declining grades and general disorganization can be a direct result of too much screen time. Hours upon hours of unchecked gaming and online activities lead to over-stimulated young minds. Parents often suspect this, and research has proven it. As a parent, if you have not seen this yet with your child that overuses digital media, you almost certainly will one day.
The top academic concern we get from parents is: “My child is very bright. But since he/she has been spending so much time on their electronic device, he/she has forgotten to do homework, turn in assignments, or forgotten an assignment is due.”
Parents need to remember: your child is not dumb, and your child is not “broken.” However, habits need to be changed before your child departs for unstructured life at college or independent living. Below are some statics on the effect of video games on academics.
Effect on Academics
One study which looked into adolescent video game play found that kids who played video games spent 30% less time reading.
The same study on effects of adolescent video game play found that kids who play video games during the week spent 34% less time doing homework.
Why Gamers / Internet Over-Users Have Organization Issues
The reason why distraction and forgetfulness issues are so common with gamers/internet over-users is that your child’s mind is slowly becoming acclimated to being over-stimulated. The lights, sounds, and fast pace of video games and other online activities slowly numb them to the world. Without the hyper-stimulating effects of digital media, your child slowly begins to lose their ability to maintain focus in the real world.
Sleep patterns are also known to be affected by the hyper-stimulating effects of video games. When a child is not able to calm themselves down and night and rest, they are drowsy during the day and schoolwork can be affected.
The Good News
The good news is that not only are technology overuse habits completely reversible, the same methodology used for habit reversal can also be applied to create new habits- like setting up a weekly study plan to achieve an academic goal.
We teach our campers in our focus groups the exact same behavioral tracking and planning methodology used by Olympic and professional athletes. Campers learn how to establish “self-regulation skills.” That is, the ability to target a goal, plan a behavior to meet that goal and to set up a structure to keep themselves on track even if they fall off course.
Not only did I kick my gaming habit, I learned how to organize my life and create the study habits I needed to succeed.
Systematic Self-Monitoring Methodology
The cornerstone of the Summerland Camps methodology is learning about “systematic self-monitoring.” Campers learn how to monitor their daily behaviors- and they become accustomed to feeling good when daily behavioral goals are met, and not so good when they fail to meet their daily goals. The attainment of daily goals keep them motivated and moving forward, as does the group support they receive in aftercare.
Campers become experts at systematic self-monitoring during the camp process. It’s only natural they will then apply this same methodology to achieve other goals in life that take planning and daily behaviors, such as graduating college, saving for retirement, and meeting certain health and fitness goals which are measurable and achievable. We help our campers see the possibilities for the future after they have mastered goal setting and goal achievement.