You know you love your child – here is new research that will guarantee your teenager will improve their exam results while enhancing their relationship with you.
We all have a deep intuition when it comes to our own children. It is an unspoken bond born in the womb, in the heady days of our own young love. A bond that grew over the days, weeks and years following our child’s birth. Untold hours of minding that totally vulnerable, miraculous scrap of humanity that would die if neglected for just an instant.
This bond eventually changes as your child struggles for independence. The total reliance on the parent for survival has to end or the child would never grow. But while your child may change their views of you – you will always remember the time when your child was totally dependent on you. When you did all you had to do to keep it alive and growing.
And it is this unspoken intuition that warns you when things are wrong.
The age of Distraction
There is one thing every modern parent feels uneasy about – their child’s obsession with their smartphone or tablet and their involvement, whatever the time of day, in creating Facebook feeds, posting on Snapchat, Instagram or whatever is the newest social media flavor of the month.
It happens again when we sit down as a family to eat only to find our teenagers prefer Facebook feeds to proper food (and our company!). At such times we get an underlying intuition that something is wrong.
We also get this sinking feeling when we come across our children studying for their exams only to find them uploading pictures to Snapchat while engaging with friends on Instagram and comparing last weekends activities. When we see this time and again, we cannot shake off a sense of unease.
Part of us (our super-critic which our children always understand and feed into) tells us to shut-up. ‘Stop being such a whiny old fart’ runs the refrain, ‘if you were young you’d be doing exactly the same!’
But another part – the precious part that truly loves our children above all other things, the part that cannot even express that love in words – remains deeply disturbed. This part knows what is best for your child – and this part knows deep down that their being constantly distracted is no good thing.
The good news is that you, as a parent, are not alone. New scientific discoveries are proving the negative impact of multiple distractions not just on our teenagers study proficiency, but also on their emotional and mental health and their relationship withyou.
And guess what . . . your intuition about your child was right – there are enormous dangers in the social media revolution. In fact our teenagers obsession with their smartphones has been described as a form of digital nicotine.
What the research proves
You only need three pieces of research to get as ensue? of the alarming trend.
Research study 1 – the vast majority of teenagers believes they can indulge in social media while studying without it affecting their exams performance.
Research study 2 – when asked to study for just 15 minutes without looking at their smartphones the majority lasted just 3 minutes.
Research study 3 – just one glance at Facebook during a study session will impact negatively on our ability to focus. It all comes down to the FOMO syndrome (Fear of Missing Out). You may only have spent seconds on Facebook during study but your mind is now preoccupied with what you saw there, what your friends (or enemies) are saying about you.
The answer: Deep Study
Cal Newport, an American professor and author of four New York Times bestsellers, including the groundbreaking Deep Work, calls for a radical transformation to our life in which focusing with great intensity – and distraction free – becomes our core activity, not an occasional indulgence.
In our Maximum Points System we will look at practical, researched based ways to limit your teenagers (and your own!) negative devotion to the smart phone.
By following these guidelines your teenager will learn how to study deep, to become less of a slave to their mobile devices, and to enjoy family downtime. It could be the start of a whole new chapter not just of their academic achievement but of their relationship with you – the person that loves them the most.