A Set Of Animals Toys And 90 Toys In It Early Learning – Can Movies and TV Ever Be Good For Babies and Small Children?

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Early Learning – Can Movies and TV Ever Be Good For Babies and Small Children?

What an important question! As a parent of a baby or toddler, you want to help your little one reach his or her potential. We know that language and social skills are very important for success in school and in life. And what better time to start than when your child is young?

First, the bad news – the really bad news. “Excessive viewing before the age of three has been shown to be associated with attention control problems, aggressive behavior and poor cognitive development. Early television viewing has exploded in recent years and is one of the major public health issues with that American children face,” according to University of Washington researcher Frederick Zimmerman.

In this article, we will look at the suggested links between screen time and lower vocabulary, ADHD, autism and violent behaviour. Next we’ll look at how you can use children’s TV and movies to help your child learn.

LOWER LANGUAGE SKILLS A University of Washington study shows that 40% of three-month-old babies and 90% of two-year-olds “watch” TV or movies regularly. The researchers found that parents allowed their babies and toddlers to watch educational TV, children’s videos/DVDs, other children’s programs, and adult programs.

What can we learn from this study?

* “Most parents are looking for what is best for their child, and we found that many parents believe they are providing educational and brain development opportunities by exposing their babies to 10 to 20 hours of viewing per week,” says the researcher Andrew Meltzoff, a developmental psychologist. .

* According to Frederick Zimmerman, lead author of the study, this is a bad thing. “Exposure to television takes time away from more developmentally appropriate activities, such as a parent or adult caregiver and a baby engaging in free play with dolls, blocks or cars…,” he says.

* Infants aged 8 to 16 months who watched children’s programs knew fewer words than those who did not.

“The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew,” says Dr. Dimitri Christakis. “These infants scored about 10% lower in language skills than infants who had not seen these videos.”

* Meltzoff says that parents “instinctively adapt their speech, eye gaze, and social cues to support language acquisition”—obviously something no machine can do!

* Amazingly, it made no difference whether the parent watched with the baby or not!

Why did these babies learn more slowly? Dr. Vic Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, says, “Kids need face-to-face interaction to learn. They don’t get that interaction from watching TV or videos. In fact, watching probably interferes with the installations major set in their brains during early development.”

ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by problems with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. An association between ADHD and early TV viewing has been noted by Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH et al.

“In contrast to the pace at which real life unfolds and is experienced by young children, television can portray rapidly changing images, landscapes and events. It can be overstimulating yet extremely interesting,” the researchers say. “We found that early exposure to television was associated with later attention problems.”

The researchers examined data on 1,278 children at age one and 1,345 children at age three. They found that an additional hour of daily television viewing at these ages translated into a ten percent higher probability of the child exhibiting ADHD behaviors by age seven.

AUTISM Autism is characterized by poor or no language skills, poor social skills, unusual repetitive behaviors and obsessive interests. A Cornell University study found that higher rates of autism appear to correlate with higher rates of screen time.

The researchers hypothesize that “a small segment of the population is vulnerable to developing autism because of their underlying biology and that either too much or some type of television viewing in early childhood serves as a trigger for the condition.”

In his commentary on this study in Slate magazine, Gregg Easterbrook notes that autistic children have abnormal activity in the visual processing areas of their brains. While these areas are developing rapidly during the first three years of a child’s life, he wonders if “too much viewing of two-dimensional, brightly colored screen images” could cause problems. I find this comment very interesting, as it would apply to the entire spectrum from “quality children’s programming” to adult material.

VIOLENT BEHAVIOR The National Association for the Education of Young Children identified the following areas of concern for children who watch violence on TV: * Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. * They may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways towards others. * They may be more afraid of the world around them.

The American Psychological Association reports on several studies in which some children watched a violent program and others a non-violent program. Those in the first group were slower to intervene, either directly or by calling for help, when they saw young children fighting or breaking toys after the program.

Now that we know the bad news…

Is it possible to use films at all? I think it is. I believe the key is to use the program, not just look at it. Most people know that reading to babies is great, but no one would put a book on a child and walk away, thinking it would do them any good!

Rock your baby or tap to classical music or nursery rhymes.

Be very, very picky about what your toddler watches – and watch with him. Does the program demonstrate kindness, helpfulness, generosity…whatever values ​​you want your little one to learn?

When she is old enough to associate with images of people, animals and toys, talk to her about what she is seeing. “Look at the puppy. He’s playing with the kitten. They’re friends. Mom is your friend.” “The little birds are hungry. They are calling their mother. She will come back with some food.” “Oh no! The little lamb is lost. I wonder if the shepherd will find it.”

Make screen time a special — and very limited — time that the two of you share. Treat a baby or toddler movie like you would a book — as another tool to give you topics to interact with your little one.

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