Do you want to send your child off to school with improved focus and more compliant behavior? Here's how an electronic fast can help send your child to the head of the class:
We often hear about natural approaches to improve brain power in children: playing outdoors, eating whole foods, avoiding chemicals often found in plastics and self-care products, improving air quality, removing additives and dyes from the diet, and so on.
But what about the electromagnetic environment that we exist in? Does it not make sense for that to be natural as well? After all, we are all electromagnetic beings, and the brain has electrical (think brain waves generated by brain areas) as well as chemical-electrical properties (think signal transduction from one cell to another, and cell membrane channels)—not to mention other electromagnetic relationships to other organs (for example, to the heart). It is simple physics to assume that electromagnetic fields interact with one another.
Most children have about a week or so before school starts. Although I typically recommend at least three weeks to do an electronic fast, most parents start noticing a difference within several days. Starting now and then continuing with it into the first couple weeks of school will both boost brain power and set the tone for moderating screentime after the fast.
What does an electronic fast consist of? I typically advise parents remove all interactive screen devices: smartphones, iPads, laptops/desktops, video games, tablets, etc. If it has a screen, remove it. Make sure you remove iPods or other music players that have screens, since removing these are frequently overlooked. I typically allow a little television if it’s non-animated, non-violent, not watched on laptop or other mobile device, and the content is not too stimulating (think Nature Channel or older movies). However if your child has ADHD, autism or struggles with learning disabilities, I’d lose the TV too—a recent study demonstrated that television viewing was correlated with poor vocabulary and math scores, and television’s adverse effects on attention are already well-substantiated.
Why is the fast worth doing, you ask? An electronic fast can:
Once you’ve completed three weeks of the electronic fast, you can try reintroducing screens but keep it very limited. (It’s a lot easier to limit them strictly after the child has had them removed completely!) Run a tight ship. If you see distractibility or irritability in your child emerging, don’t be shy about pulling electronics again. These symptoms are the body’s way of communicating that the brain can’t handle the load, and should be "listened" to.