Video games and puberty

Family Counselor & Author Michael Gurian, MFA, shares advice for parents on how video games affect children during puberty and the development of their brains
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Video games and puberty

A time to really watch screen time is between the ages of 8-14. This is leaving childhood and moving into adolescence. This is a time, not even when puberty happens, but the brain prunes. This happens in boys and girls; the brain prunes. At around 10, the brain says, "Okay. What I don't use, I've got to get rid of because life is complicated. I only have certain resources. I'm going to develop what I develop." Of course, I'm exaggerating, not only in that time period, but at 10. Part of that is, as puberty hits, it signals the brain to do this. So, if all the boy or girl is doing is watching the screen for three or four hours a night, we've got to remember that pruning brain is going to retain the watchability, but it's going to prune out; the go out and move ability, the go play sports ability, the ability to relate to be empathically, the social aspect, the emotional intelligence. So that's a time -- if you pick one time -- to fully concentrate and take control of screen time.

Family Counselor & Author Michael Gurian, MFA, shares advice for parents on how video games affect children during puberty and the development of their brains


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Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC

Family Counselor & Author

Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books published in 21 languages. He provides counseling services at the Marycliff Center, in Spokane, Washington. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.

 He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Girls, The Wonder of Boys, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and The Minds of Boys.

Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities per year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

 As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University.  His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.

Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.

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