by FOX Charlotte
Story Created: Oct 18, 2011 at 11:19 PM EDT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – South Charlotte resident and parenting website www.CharlotteSmartyPants.com blogger Krista Wilson’s five-year-old daughter rarely watches TV. Coloring is something she likes to do instead. But Wilson and her husband also have 13-month-old twins at home and the television is occasionally turned on just so Wilson can get small chores done. The young mom laughs when she says, “Sometimes that just means the ability to empty the dishwasher, which is a huge accomplishment in my life!”
A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows watching TV can harm brain and language development in children under the age of two. And, that there is no benefit to “educational” videos for kids under two. The research confirms doctor’s earlier beliefs. “I think this particular study is a difficult one because it’s so near and dear to everyone’s hearts. Technology is everywhere,” says Wilson.
“I had frequently thought mothers of young infants, who are stay at home moms all day, that if they had Oprah on, that really wasn’t a big deal. And this speaks differently on that,” says pediatrician Dr. Rhonda Patt. She has always told her patients that parent/child interaction is the most important part of development. But she was surprised to learn how much “background media” can impact that interaction. “And,” she says, ” that children became distracted during their own play by what was on TV and switched activities more frequently.”
The AAP recommends parents set media limits for kids, opt for supervised independent play (like nesting cups while a parent prepares dinner), no TVs in the bedroom and be aware of how your TV use impacts your kids.
It’s advice that confirms Wilson’s experience. She says, “The best thing for your children is that human interaction. Realize there is monitoring that needs to take place and that just because you buy a DVD doesn’t mean your kid is gonna split the atom.”
The study also found that by age three, almost one third of children have a television in their bedroom. Dr. Patt says TV use in the bedroom can be associated with sleep problems.