Babies and their loving caregivers are naturally attracted to each other. Feeding a baby is a sacred time when lifelong bonds develop through tender caresses, late-night murmurs and loving, long glances.
But there’s competition now. A spare moment is an opportunity to catch up—with email, social media, and other digital demands on our attention.
Yet, a child’s vital need for Attachment remains. Without secure attachment, a baby can grow up more anxious and less durable in the long run. Without the opportunity to closely study a caregiver’s mouth and expressions, language development can lag. A child could miss out on learning the vital skill (for survival in life and in business) of learning to read faces.
Research is beginning to indicate that if the view of a caregiver’s face is blocked by a device or if a very young child is left to spend too much time in a 2-D screen environment, the trajectory of brain development can be altered, as in the newly-discovered syndrome seen in toddlers, Virtual Autism.
What impact Attachment and Detachment have on children are among topics explored in this episode of the Technology for Mindfulness podcast, hosted by MIT-educated engineer, computer scientist, and lawyer Robert Plotkin and featuring health journalist, educator, and DurableHuman.com founder Jenifer Joy Madden. Be on the lookout for simple DIY designs you use to increase durability and grow “broccoli brains” in your household. After the podcast, watch this simple one-thought animation that shows how a parent’s early choices could influence whether a child develops a richly-interconnected brain that’s more like a bushy head of broccoli than a slimmer broccolini:
Watch more of the Broccoli Brain series here.
About the author: Jenifer Joy Madden is a health journalist, digital media professor, tech hygienist, and inveterate parent of three durable young adults. She has informed millions on the TEDx stage, in the DurableU online classroom and on news outlets ranging from ABC News to The Washington Post. Her books include The Durable Human Manifesto and How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design.
Download The Durable Human Manifesto for free here.