“Though parents are often concerned about the effects of too much screen time on young children, it may be the adults who need to set aside their devices.
“Recent research by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, reveals the detrimental effects of parent screen time on their children’s language development.”
“Language doesn’t just unfold, Hirsh-Pasek explained. The way it really happens is being in an environment of adults involved in conversation. The more exposure, the more language your child will learn. When conversation is a back-and-forth of sounds and expressions, early learning is optimized, even with video chats on services like FaceTime, for instance.
“Not only do text and email alerts that parents turn to look at interrupt early language acquisition, they distract parents from baby’s cues.
“ ‘Look at what baby is looking at. Comment on it,’ said Hirsh-Pasek. ‘The thing we don’t do these days is have quiet attentiveness without the beeps and the sounds. They need to not see us constantly turn away. They need our full attention.’ ”
“Parent distraction can hinder babies’ language skills,” by Kim Doleatto, South Coast Today, April 19, 2018. “Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of columns about early childhood literacy and boosting reading skills.”