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Articles by Dr. Walt Larimore
- Your Child Needs a Well-Child Checkup
- You Are the Key to Your Teen’s Well-Being
- Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Bottled Water is Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Baby Media Does Not Advance Learning
- Whooping Cough Epidemic
- What Is the Genetic Link With ADHD?
- What Is My ADHD Child Feeling?
- What about Adopted Children?
- Weight Loss That Works…and Keeps Working
- The Ten Commitments of Great Parents
- The Teen Years--Ready, Set, Go
- The Parental Team--It Takes Two
- The One Thing Your Kids Need to Avoid for A Good Night’s Sleep
- The Different Layers of Health Care
- The Death-Defying Power of Healthy Marriage
- The Crucial Importance of R.E.S.T.
- The Attributes of Great Parents
- The ADHD Child
- The ABCD's of Parenting Teens
- The 12 Ways of Hands-On Parents
- Television and Childhood Obesity
- Superfoods for Women
- Summer – Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Fat?
- Study shows no link between increased cell phone use and brain cancer incidence
- Small Changes Bring Big Results
- Showing Gratitude for Partner's Generosity
- Quality Time or Quantity Time?
- Postpartum Depression
- Poll Shows Sex within Marriage is More Fulfilling
- Obesity: Television, Video Games and Your Children’s Health
- Obesity: Soft Drinks Effect Health
- Obesity: It’s a Killer Epidemic
- Obesity: Children and Fast Food
- Loud Music and Teenage Hearing Loss
- Learn as much about ADHD as you can
- Is Chocolate the Next Super Food?
- Is ADHD Different in Boys and Girls?
- Is ADHD Associated With Risk-Taking Behaviors?
- How to Change These Four Bad Habits
- How to be Happier and More Satisfied
- How Common Is ADHD?
- Hepatitis C and Tattoos
- Healthy Holidays
- Hands-on Parenting: How it Works
- Good Relationship with Dad Can Help Fight Stress
- Fast food and your family
- Explore Treatment Options
- Dr. Larimore’s 11 Tips for Weight Loss Success
- Disciplining Older Kids
Dr. Walt LarimoreWalt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert. read bio
Why Baby Media Does Not Advance Learning
In past blogs I’ve warned parents, “Baby Einstein or Brainy Baby may turn your baby into anything but,” and “Don’t Count on DVDs to Improve Your Child’s Vocabulary.” Now, as science catches up to the marketing of these DVDs, more doubts are being raised about their so-called value and effectiveness.
Parents who want to provide their babies a learning advantage these days often turn to what’s been nicknamed “baby media”—videos specifically designed to stimulate very young minds.
But researchers and pediatricians have begun to question whether babies actually are learning anything from these videos. And new studies are finding that the videos are successful at keeping infants entertained but do little to help them pick up words and concepts.
In fact, some researchers have found that kids who start watching baby media at an earlier age are apt to show less ability with language than kids who never were exposed to the videos or started watching later. Here are the details from HealthDay News:
“I don’t think we’ve seen anything to suggest that kids younger than 18 months, even with parents’ support, will learn anything from a DVD,” said Rebekah A. Richert, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.
She and her colleagues found that children who started watching baby DVDs at a younger age scored lower on tests of their language skills.
Their findings were echoed shortly thereafter by a University of Virginia study that found that children who viewed a baby DVD did not learn any more words than kids in a control group. The babies who learned the most words, in fact, were not exposed to the video at all. Instead, they picked them up from their parents during everyday activities, the researchers reported.
[Try these 3 Ways to Really Make Your Children Smart]
No TV before Age 2
Such findings reinforce the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that parents limit television viewing for children younger than 2, said Dr. Don Shifrin, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a spokesman for the academy.
“We would gently urge parents of kids under the age of 2 to avoid screen time with children,” Shifrin said. “Play is the work of childhood. Sitting down in front of a screen is not the work of childhood.”
Baby media exploded in popularity in the late 1990s, outpacing research efforts into whether the videos were truly helpful, Shifrin said.
“It turned out that the marketing was so good that everybody got into the act because people were buying them hand over fist,” he said.
But Richert said that researchers now are finding that babies are not able to tie what is happening on the screen to the objects and sensations in their daily lives.
“They don’t really understand the relationship between what’s happening on screen and the real world around them,” she said. For example, babies can’t understand that a cup on the screen is the same as a cup in their hand—unless there is a parent there to make the connection.
Interaction is Key
For that reason, Shifrin and Richert said, parents who want to use baby media should watch with their children and reinforce the concepts being introduced.
Shifrin recommends that parents who want to use baby videos:
Pre-watch a video to make sure it goes at a slow, deliberate, “Mr. Rogers”-type pace. Children learn best at that pace, and less so with what he called “Warner Brothers”-style pacing.
Watch the video with their baby, talking throughout it like a color commentator would do for a sports event and drawing connections between ideas in the video and objects around them in the home.
Turn off the television when the video is done and let their baby play a while, possibly engaging in activities related to the video. “If they’re watching a video showing them how to construct something or feed a bird, then go out and do it in real life,” he suggested.
“The key element is parents being involved,” Richert said. “It’s not just the kids watching on their own. It’s not really effective to put them in front of the television on their own and expect them to make those connections.”
Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.
Used with permission from Dr. Walt Larimore, taken from Dr. Walt’s blog.comments powered by Disqus