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Take your young child's tablet away and give him or her a musical instrument

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Today, technology offers children and adolescents increasingly more complex and captivating games and pastimes. 

Video games and tablets seem to be able to provide much more elaborate stimuli to children and can, therefore, contribute better to a child's intellectual and cognitive development.

In any case, this is what many parents believe, and many are even comforted by the fact that thanks to these devices their children can easily stay at home in their room for hours. 

However, it would be better to put in young children's hands a musical instrument, which, according to experts, offers the best stimulation for helping young children grow on a cognitive level.

image: pixnio

The Spanish neuropsychologist Alvaro Bilbao in his book The Child's Brain Explained to Parents explains how electronic devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are by no means the best kind of gift for a young child. He argues, instead, that it is better that a young child learns to use a musical instrument since this increases a young child's capacity for reasoning and concentration. It is essential that parents know and make the right choices, because "without their parents, a young child's intellectual potential does not develop", says Bilbao. 

In particular, a study published in the journal Psychiatry Molecular supports the fact that 50% of intelligence and cognitive abilities are determined by genes, and the remaining 50% depends on the stimuli that are received when a child is very young; therefore, in this regard, parents have a great responsibility. 

Bilbao clarifies the concept with an example: "A little boy can have a genetic potential to become 6 feet tall (1.90 meters), but if the parents do not feed him well, he will never reach that height." Therefore, it is important to nurture both a child's physical and intellectual capacities.  For this reason, the stimuli that the child receives in the first six years of life are crucial. Outdoor and group activities should also be encouraged, as well as music lessons. 

Furthermore, according to research by the University of Toronto published in the journal Psychological Science, the study of music is, in fact, positively correlated with the development of cognitive skills. 

In general, there are many other ways of encouraging the healthy cognitive development of one's own children; and parents should know that their young children should be kept away from electronic devices.

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