What parents need to know about children with weak working memory

According to Parental Expert Nikki Bush, Working Memory is the ability to remember and use relevant information while in the middle of an activity. It is the key predictor of success in children, she says.

Nikki Bush discusses the importance of having a good working memory and some of the key contributors to weak working memory in children with CapeTalk/702 Redi Tlhabi.

Because our world is becoming more screen-based and our children have so many options…what primary teachers are finding is that working memory is in decline and that is going to impact on a child’s academic success.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

Listen to the full conversation on the Redi Tlhabi show:

In general it might look like a child who is well behaved in a classroom; they look like they are listening but when it comes to doing the actual task, it’s like they haven’t heard a thing.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

They often rarely volunteer attention because they are embarrassed. Somewhere they have lost the memory of what the teacher was actually talking about.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

Bush says working memory is how we keep the information front and centre. It sits between short term memory and long term memory. She says the decline in good working memory is caused by children’s dependency on on-screen activities.

Some of the problems we are seeing that impacting on the declining working memory with children, is that they are playing fewer real games and engaging more with on-screen stuff

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

On-screen activities provide lot of visual and verbal prompts all the time, telling the child what to do. The screen continually gives them these prompts, so they don’t have to remember.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert
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