'Madonna does not want her younger children living in a material world with their noses glued to smartphones.
Speaking to British Vogue, Madonna said she has imposed stricter smartphone rules for her younger children. The singer, actress, producer, director and mother of six told the magazine that she hasn’t yet allowed her 13-year-old son David to have his own smartphone. She said that the devices have an adverse effect on children and change the way they relate to the world.
“I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13,” Madonna, 60, told the fashion magazine. “It ended my relationship with them, really. Not completely, but it became a very, very big part of their lives. They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves to other people, and that’s really bad for self-growth.”
Chief among the effects: Smartphones may actually change children’s brains. The National Institutes of Health is in the midst of a $300 million study that’s following 11,000 children over 10 years. It already has some preliminary results: MRI scans from 4,500 participants show physical changes in the brains of those children that use smartphones for more than 7 hours per day.
Those changes include thinning of the brain’s cortex, which is associated with lower IQ. Children who spend just 2 hours a day on their smartphones also have lower language and thinking skills. Dimitri Christakis, one of the author’s of screen guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and a lead author for its Virtual Violence policy, told CBS, “We’re sort of in the midst of a natural kind of uncontrolled experiment.”
Read more: Madonna is right about smartphones being bad for children: They have disturbing, long-term effects on their brains
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