Anyone remember that old John Prine song? “Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, move to the country…”? Ah no? Guess I’m showing my age. šŸ™‚

For over 4o years, we’ve been debating the benefits or detriments of TV to our society–and to our children. Early on, it was mostly debate. Television, and especially television geared for children, just hadn’t been around long enough to draw firm conclusions.

That’s changed in the last 10 years. Not only has research become more focused on our youngest children and their brain development, but there has also been enough time now for research to be repeated.

A new report was publicized this past week again confirming that TV viewing delays cognitive and language developmentĀ  in babies and toddlers. You can read US News’ report here (and it includes links to the study).

While the article is short, I was struck with two points from it:

  • “…when kids and parents are watching TV, they are missing out on talking, playing, and interactions that are essential to learning and development.”
  • Native language and income levels did not affect results.

The Child Study Center of the University of Virginia has posted this video report concerning educational videos. The conclusion? Children did not learn vocabulary from watching educational television *and* they learn vocabulary best from the adults in their lives (even when there’s little more going on than talking, ie, no special equipment needed, folks!).

And finally, in the old news department, if you need any further ammo especially against Baby Mozart, read here.

So turn the TV off and spend time with your kiddo, one on one. (And if you’ve got to cook dinner, pull open a cabinet door and let your little one explore!)