While letting a child watch TV may seem to be an easy way to free up a little time for mom and dad, a recent policy statement released from the American Academy of Pediatrics says that there are no benefits associated with children under the age of 2 watching television. In fact, there is evidence suggesting that it actually interferes with normal development. Primrose School of Legacy Owner and pediatrician Dr. Laura Jana was recently interviewed by CBS Evening News to explain the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy and recommendations on television time for children under the age of 2.
Click Here to Watch the CBS Evening News Segment.
Studies have shown that the early years are critical in a child’s development, so it’s important to engage children in ways that enable them to be active learners and become actively involved in your child’s learning and development. Remember, there is no substitution for quality time!
Need some TV time alternatives? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Snuggle up to a good book – Trade that TV show in for a book that introduces memorable characters. As you child grows older, you can watch Sesame Street with her and talk about what happens. Then find books that feature the same friends to read together. If your child has a favorite character, chances are there is a book that can serve as a substitute. Make reading an engaging experience for your child with funny voices and lots of questions.
Role-Play – Need to knock out dinner and keep your little one occupied? Consider setting up a space in the kitchen with some kitchen utensils like wooden spoons, plastic measuring cups and maybe even a pot or pan. Children love to mimic their parents and the new materials will create an explorer environment as they find fun ways to interact with new “toys.” Another engaging way to pass the time is to sing favorite songs together while you prepare dinner.
Supervised independent play – Finding activities that your little one can do on her own (even though you will still be supervising) is an excellent alternative to TV time when you need to get things done around the house. This can be anything from a puzzle and nesting cups to blocks or paper and crayons. This type of independent play helps your child learn to be more self-sufficient and does not require a parent to be actively engaged, while meeting the physical and emotional needs of the child.
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