If you want smart kids, less technology and more music.
We still have time to educate our children with a little common sense.
We are connected to new technologies all day long. For example, when we are woken up by our cell phone alarm in the morning and we already have our smartphone in our hand, or when we get home from work and go straight to the computer or tablet to connect to social networks.
New technologies have revolutionized our daily lives and, although we don't realize it, they have also changed our brains..
Children and intelligence
In an interview published in the newspaper La Vanguardia, David Bueno i Torrensauthor of the book "Cerebroflexia", states: "New technologies cause people to have fewer connections in the memory management area of the brain because part of this function has been outsourced to digital devices: few people remember their friends' phone numbers anymore".
But can new technologies make us more or less intelligent? Recent studies affirm that if we want intelligent children, we must be careful with the use of new technologies. Moreover, it seems that the key to developing a child's intelligence is music (specifically, playing instruments).
The role of parents in the development of their children's intelligence
The family environment and the parents' attitude are decisive in the intellectual development and school performance of their children. If we talk about the latter aspect, i.e. school performance, Frances Glascoea professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Berlin, explains that "it has been proven that children who grow up in homes where conversation, reading and music are present tend to have higher IQs and get better grades in school.
Therefore, those parents who often leave their children watching television or playing video games should be aware that this can affect their future academic performance, as those children who interact frequently with their parents and even the rest of the family achieve greater intelligence development..
Technological devices and intelligence: some scientific data
Psychologists and educators have been warning parents for decades about the harmful effects of technological devices (including television) on the little ones at home. Álvaro Bilbaoauthor of the book "The Child's Brain Explained to Parents", warns: "The key to brain development in the youngest children lies in the relationship with their parents. Genetics may play an important role, but without the family environment, the brain's potential development will not be realized.
It is true that these technological devices used appropriately can be positive, but it is common that many parents, in order to have a moment of tranquility, leave their children watching TV or connected to the Ipad without any control. It is necessary to be careful with this, since a research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicineand carried out by the Université Sainte Justine de Québec and the University of Michigan, demonstrates that children who spend more hours in front of the television at 2, 3 and 4 years of age have greater problems at school.. For example, they have a 6 percent drop in math achievement.
Brain Training games do not make us smarter
In recent years, brain training games or programs have become very fashionable with the aim of stimulating cognitive development. The truth is that their validity in improving the performance of cognitive functions is more than questioned. The belief that it is possible to become more intelligent through this type of games or programs was started by the Swedish researcher Torkel Kliembergwho claimed that, with their use, children not only improved their memory after weeks of playing, but also their intellectual capacity in general..
Some studies have shown that this belief was not true. Recently, a meta-analysis of 23 research studies indicates that these video games or programs can lead to improvements in short-term memory, but not in other areas, such as improving numeracy. The same result was obtained in a research from the University of Cambridge, in which researchers found that apart from an increase in short-term memory, there was no improvement in other skills such as mathematics, reading or writing.
Another research, this time carried out by a team of psychologists from Georgia Tech to check if there was any improvement in IQ, also failed to detect any improvement in the intelligence of the study subjects.. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that Brain Training games do not make us smarter.
Science affirms that learning to play an instrument makes us smarter.
But how can we stimulate our children's intelligence? Can music have a positive influence on the intellectual development of children? It seems to be so. At least that's what several studies have shown.
Many people play instruments and perform in music groups as a hobby. If these results are true, in addition to having a good time, these individuals could be more advantaged, these individuals could be more advantaged in the development of their intelligence.. According to several research studies, exposing a child to playing instruments at an early age can have a positive impact on his or her IQ, reading level and brain development. In addition, adults who learn to play instruments also benefit from this practice: increased concentration, increased brain activity and greater pleasure and well-being.
To test this hypothesis, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto (Canada) conducted a study with 6-year-old children. Some of them were randomly given piano and voice lessons. The others received no training. The study showed that learning to play an instrument can increase math skills and overall IQ. So, if you're a parent, instead of leaving your child in front of the computer, sign them up for guitar or piano lessons.. This way you will be stimulating their intelligence and creativity.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)