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Multi-tasking at a young age- The Bane of this century!

Multi-tasking at a young age- The Bane of this century!

When one is looking for relevant quotes from well-known people, seems like Einstein always has a word about anything and everything!

 Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

-Albert Einstein

 Today, it has become a way of life to work, text, check FB, talk on the phone all at the same time. All of this may go unnoticed when involved in mundane everyday tasks which do not need too much of “thought process”.

However, to deliver a quality essay or a well written program or cooking a dish that is challenging - any task that requires concentration, distractions can prove really disastrous.

Research clearly indicates that multitasking causes cognitive tiredness, or in layman terms, mentally tires us out. Hence we will not be able to deliver a high quality output doing even 2 things at the same time, unless one of them needs no application of the mind- like breathing and writing J!

This problem gets highly amplified in young children. Children’s minds cannot process a sensory overload of information, it makes them either throw away the tool that is overloading them, or shut it off in their mind numbing themselves to the multiple inputs.          

So when a 3-year-old plays with a toy that does 5 different things, it is highly likely that the child will fiddle with all of it for a short duration and give up on it quickly because of the lack of clarity of information flowing to the child. This is typically when parents declare, “My child does not like to play with toys”.

This same child however seems to enjoy playing repetitively with a ball, or in the sand or even in the kitchen with a cup and spoon. Somehow these seem exciting enough to most little ones, as they perform one task for long durations of time.

3 year olds like to deal with objects that they understand. If there is a broom, it is clear it is for sweeping. If there is a tower, then it evidently has to be for stacking. When towers are printed with letters of the alphabet, it may not seem purposeful to the child, and in turn might make them disinterested in playing with it. This defeats the very idea of making toys multipurpose. In the hope that children will also learn alphabet while stacking, we assume that children enjoy multitasking, and also assume that it is good for children to process several things simultaneously, both of which are untrue.

Simplicity rocks for young children! Enabling them to focus on one aspect at a time enhances interest in the activity while building attention span. Avoiding multitasking at a young age will set a clear foundation for processing more information, without tiring children out. So by giving toys/tools that have simple clear objectives at a young age that build one aspect of learning at a time, it is highly likely that children will enjoy them for far longer durations.

Encourage children to open one tab at a time in their minds, and watch them process information with clarity and joy, with far less fatigue!

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