Parents who encourage children to watch television instead of conversing with them through reading or playing with toys are damaging their language skills according to experts.
Scientists from Ohio measured the importance of mother-child communication in relation to literacy and vocabulary levels for 73 children aged 16 months to six years.
"Mothers who are responsive to their infant's communication promote a positive self-perception for the child," said physical scientist, Amy Nathanson, "If maternal responsiveness is absent, children learn that their environment is unpredictable and become anxious."
The team found the mothers who played games with their children used a more active communication style and those that read together helped build a child's vocabulary of everyday words.
By explaining and describing objects or new words and images, or by prompting conversation through questions, maternal responsiveness can help to engage a child with the activity.
"Reading books together increased the maternal communication beyond a level required for reading, while watching TV decreased it," Nathanson concluded.
"This is significant when we consider the amount of time young children spend watching TV, missing out on any parental communication at a critical stage in their development.

"We would encourage parents to regularly substitute TV for other forms of entertainment to ensure frequent, positive interaction with their child."

 

 Posted September 21st, 2011 at 1115 by Richard. Comment by emailing: richard.hook@pavpub.com

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