Kiera, age 16, has had a rough year in school. After receiving grades of D’s and F’s in most of her major subjects, Kiera’s parents have brought her to a variety of specialists. Different medications were prescribed and tried. "Train the brain" memory programs were completed at a price tag of $3500. Still the grades showed no sign of changing and Kiera’s parents felt frustrated and depleted.
"Well, we just don’t know what to do," Kiera’s parents stated. "She takes zero responsibility for herself. Also her ‘texting’ is out of control. Just last month she had over 17,000 text messages.
Let’s do the math.
For arguments sake, we’ll say that there are essentially eight free hours for the average high school student from the time they finish school (around 2:30) to the time they go to sleep. 8 hours = 480 minutes. 480 minutes X 30 ( the number of days in a month) = 14,400 minutes. I don’t know what the average length of time is for a typical text message, but it would certainly appear that young Kiera has used up a significant chunk of her unstructured time (not to mention that she’s probably texting throughout her school day) with her 17,000 monthly text messages.
When confronted by her parents, Kiera screamed, "I am great at multitasking. Leave me alone!!!!"
Back in May, I attended a wonderful conference on Learning and the Brain. One of the research findings that stuck with me was the mythology of multitasking. According to the findings, "multitasking" was noted to be a neurological impossibility. We may think we are good at multitasking, but the concept of doing different things at the same time simply does not exist.
Good luck explaining that to your child this year as she is texting her day away.