The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended for several years that toddlers under age 2 not watch videos or television.
“We’ve known for a long time that live social interaction is very important for how children learn — things like interacting with parents, a teacher or even an older sibling,” said Rebekah A. Richert, lead author of the study, which is scheduled to be published in the May print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. “Our study suggests that a TV screen and people on a TV screen can’t replace that live interaction.”
Two critical reasons why videos and TV fail:
1. Young children are not communicating with their parents. A video/TV program replaces the precious mom & dad time that could be spent learning, thinking, and using many words.
2. A video/TV is a passive, one-way flow of information that overstimulates the brain and does not engage a child in learning. During the early years, it is critical that little ones hear and use the sounds of language with an engaged parent for talking and thinking.
The bottom line with technology and young children: there is no substitute for a parent’s attention and time.