In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, duration of media exposure at age 6 months was associated with lower cognitive development at age 14 months...and lower language development .... No significant associations were seen with exposure to young child–oriented educational or noneducational content.
"She loved the animation and music right away and very quickly began to touch the screen and interact with the moving bees, bugs and cows." [Mother of 8 month old.]
No, she's interacting with pixels on a flat screen. Really. I got a nice loupe you can borrow. Better yet, get your child one once she's old enough not to choke on it.
"Parents will believe, and correctly, that using an iPad will better prepare their children for the future than watching TV." [PC World, best place for parenting advice on the net!]
Um, yep. And milk is better than whiskey for the teething crowd.
"An iPad is an ideal kid pacifier."
An iPhone probably fits better, though.
"Children learn with their fingers."[Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children's Software Review, pushing the iPad's appeal in discussion with Will Richardson--listen at 0:52.
The screen is flat, like the new world we're making for our children. Good Lord, they'll be marketing virtual mudpies while their parents sip virtual martinis with virtual friends.
I'm a retired pediatrician. I know a little bit about children. And it's not just me. The American Academy of Pediatrics made these recommendations back in 2001:
Pediatricians should recommend the following guidelines for parents:If you're going to pay for something more expensive than a set of blocks or a few lumps of clay, be a parent and make a reasonable effort to see if it will harm your child.
- Limit children's total media time (with entertainment media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.
- Remove television sets from children's bedrooms.
- Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, andreading together.
- Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational, and nonviolent.
- View television programs along with children, and discuss the content. Two recent surveys involving a total of nearly 1500 parents found that less than half of parents reported always watching television with their children.
- Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality,and drugs.
- Use the videocassette recorder wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children. Support efforts to establish comprehensive media-education programs in schools.
- Encourage alternative entertainment for children, including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.
Good information is out there, once you get past the hucksters.