Multitasking Lowers GPA

multitasking

Moms may be known as the ultimate multitaskers, but the research agrees that multitasking is not an efficient way to get things done. In a nutshell, multitasking is doing two or more tasks at the same time, and in the world of constant connectivity and social media, our kids are multitasking more than ever, and that’s a good thing.

Throughout this month, we are talking about helping kids develop healthy habits, and this week our radio show and column are focused on developing healthy habits for the mind. So for today’s blog, we want to talk about helping our kids get into the habit of focusing by avoiding multitasking.

Did you know that FOCUS is an acronym? It stands for

Follow

One

Course

Until Successful

The argument we often hear is that multitasking makes us more efficient. But the truth is, there are limitations to how many tasks we can perform and how well they can be executed when being performed at the same time.  Instead, let’s teach our kids to focus and fully complete one task before doing anything else.

For kids today, electronics and social media make multitasking a way of life, but it’s damaging in more ways than one. A 2012  journal by the Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University published this: “A cross-disciplinary cohort of 774 students responded to a survey which documented that the majority of them engaged in classroom multitasking. Their multitasking was significantly related to lower GPA and to an increase in risk behaviors including use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.”

Clifford Nass, a pioneer in this field of study, stated,  “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.”

One of the biggest problems for students is that they significantly under report how much time they spend multitasking, possibly because they simply don’t realize how much they are doing it. We are not suggesting that kids avoid social media altogether, but we do urge parents to help kids remove distractions when they are doing other things.

Alerts from SnapChat or texts or other social media apps are disruptive and can actually decrease kids’ ability to learn. I’ve watched my own kids studying and being continually distracted by SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and when they can’t resist the urge to check the alerts, I tell them to go put the phone in another room until all their schoolwork is done.

Having multiple tabs or windows open on the computer while they’re working is another big distraction for some kids. Pop in and see how they’re doing once in a while when they’re studying, and make sure they only have windows or tabs open that are pertinent to their schoolwork.

On the Radio

This week on POP Parenting Radio, we are talking about helping our kids develop healthy habits for the mind. You can listen live at GCN POP Parenting site at 9:00AM ET. If you’d like to hear POP Parenting on your local talk radio station, click on the Contact link above, and let us know. We will tell you how you can help.

In the Newspaper

Our weekly newspaper column this week will talk about how the habit of mindfulness can be beneficial to kids in all sorts of ways, and we offer fun tips and activities for teaching kids how to practice mindfulness. If the POP Parenting column is not in your local paper, call the paper and tell them you want POP Parenting! You can send the editor right here to our website, and they can contact us for more information.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

2 thoughts on “Multitasking Lowers GPA

  1. I’m looking for a support group of good, friendly women who might be able to help me get my 12 and 13 year olds unplugged and out of the house this summer and even after school once it starts. They’re technologically savy, but lacking some serious social skills. They need to be out of the house and around peers their own age.

    Not to mention the fact that I too need to get out of the house and meet some wonderful people who might serve as a great support system for a stay at home mom.

    • That’s a challenge for a lot of parents. Where do you live, Pauline? You may actually want to email us at jenniandjody@gmail.com to continue this conversation, and we can see what we’re able to find for you.

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