A lot has been said about dopamine and our relationships with our screens.
Research published by Harvard University shows that rewarding social stimuli – laughing faces, positive recognition by our peers and messages from loved ones – activate dopaminergic reward pathways.
Smartphones, TV and films are one way we can trigger these dopamine responses, with every ‘like’ or funny moment scratching a particular itch in our brains.
Well, parents have taken these findings further with the concept of ‘anti-dopamine’ parenting.
It looks at the ways parents can reduce children’s screen time (good riddance, Coco Melon!) and relationship with dopamine-stimulating foods like sweet treats and fast food, to regulate their kids’ systems and hopefully have a more emotionally-balanced child.
. . .
If you do need to take the iPad from your child, or they’re asking for more cookies after eating one, Kent Berridge, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, suggested to NPR parents should try and wait it out for two to five minutes, as the urge usually goes away by then.
You’ll know what’s right for your family and you. Reducing screen time can be beneficial for everyone, though — adults and children alike. And with the sun out right now, there’s never been a better time to get outdoors and play.