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12 June 2019

From the Head of Middle School

  • From the Middle School

Brad Huddleston is an internationally respected speaker, consultant, teacher and author on important issues such as technology and culture.

Emmaus recently hosted a CSA (Christian Schools Australia) leadership day where Brad spoke about ‘digital cocaine’ – the addiction many in our community have to devices, social media, gaming and pornography. Brad stepped us through the neuroscience of what is changing within the brain and the flow-on affect this is having on behaviour.

He spoke about tolerance resistance developing in the brains of people who receive over stimulation and dopamine flooding through regular overuse of screen time (and particularly through gaming and pornography). The most common impact on documented human behaviour include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep loss
  • Numbness (Anhedonia – ‘thrilled to death’)
  • Irritability
  • Attention deficits

If this is a topic that you and your family have been grappling with, you are not alone. Families can so easily be directed into a downward spiral as a result of not having clear boundaries established from an informed view. Many people are crying out for practical recommendations/actions to implement that will help their children develop the way God intends. Here are the top four recommendations Brad provided us with:

  • Teenagers require 9.25 hours of sleep every night to allow for healthy brain function and repair (younger children require more)
  • No technology in the bedroom
  • No technology well before sleep time
  • No technology before school

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Brad showed Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) brain scans of healthy brains and those affected by addictions of heroin, cocaine, social media, gaming and pornography.

Healthy brains had regular shape and plenty of colour. Damage was represented by pits and less colour…

As parents we are called into perhaps the hardest and most unrelenting jobs that can be done. Whilst we carry the responsibility of setting appropriate boundaries for our children (we are not to be our child’s friend), what a privilege we have to love, guide and grow our children.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

Brad presented to our Middle School students, staff, and ran a parent session at the College on Tuesday. He brought a hope filled message of the brain repair of a child called Noah who after healthy changes and boundaries had the colour return to his brain scans. You can also find out more about Brad and helpful resources he provides here:

Jonathan Carpenter
Head of Middle School