Photo by futurestreet
We’ve all had one of those days with kids screaming, trying to make dinner, scouts or soccer practice in 30 minutes, and in desperation, you turn on the TV. Sometimes it’s almost a miracle. The kids’ eyes whip over to the screen, they stop moving, sit down, and peace descends on the house and you’re able to get some work done.
However, like many parents, I try to encourage my kids to be well rounded, some TV, but definitely time to work together, play games, build legos, etc.
What I didn’t realize was how much TV watching may impact our babies under age 2. Check out this article by LiveScience: “TV Causes Learning Lag in Infants“. A new study shows that babies in front of the TV get a lot less interaction time with the adults around. They said that for every hour the television was on, a baby heard over 700 fewer words from adults. So, it isn’t just the baby watching the TV, but the fact that we don’t interact as much with our children when we’re distracted by the television. And when a baby’s brain is tripling in size during those early years, they really need interaction and language to develop.
In our age of electronic media, a study like this is a call for us to pay a bit more attention to interaction with our kids. That’s how they learn. Maybe we can work on returning to ‘old style’ entertainment like catch, Uno, hide and seek, and the like . . . Just not when I’m trying to make dinner 🙂