Children have to play, so they learn and develop. Digital media are undermining this development. What can parents do better?

child tv

Why play is important for children

The American pediatricians of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state:

“The ›unstructured play‹ is important to develop skills for Solution of developing problems. In addition, it promotes creativity of the children. The unstructured game is more valuable to brain development than any form of using electronic media ”

Constant irrigation through destructive media

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What, on the other hand, applies to sprinkling from the background has its destructive effect even more when toddlers consume electronic media directly: According to AAP, under two-year-olds lose nine percent of the time per TV hour on weekdays to deal with “unstructured games” .

At the weekend it is even eleven percent. Therefore, the pediatricians make very pragmatic suggestions: For example, the youngsters should put cups together on the kitchen floor when parents prepare a meal. This is already a “useful time to play” instead of just sitting in front of the telly.

Gamification instead of Glotze

It is not necessary for the adults to always be actively involved with the children. The main thing is that they can play in the parents' environment. Even if children are only four months old, playing "alone" gives them the opportunity to "think creatively, Problems to solve and Tasks manageable without parental intervention.”

In addition, parents should not neglect: Under two-year-olds have short-term deficits in language development if they watch a lot of videos or programs on TV. The consequences for under-one-year-olds who watch a lot of television alone are also drastic: they are significantly more likely to experience a delayed language development. "Even if the long-term effects are unknown, the short-term effects are cause for concern," said the pediatricians.

Telly interferes with language development and sleep behavior: away with the TV

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The AAP raises another interesting point for discussion: sleep patterns. In America, 19 percent of parents think so usefulto put a TV in the bedroom of their children under the age of one. 29 percent of children between the ages of two and three have their own television. And 30 percent of parents report that watching TV helps their children fall asleep. The paediatricians counter these surprising figures:

“Although parents see television programming as a soothing sleep aid, some shows actually have negative Consequences: The children resist going to bed more, the time for falling asleep is delayed, fears of falling asleep arise and the duration of sleep decreases.”

Do media silly?

Especially in children under three years of age, the sleep rhythm gets confused by watching TV, which has a negative effect on mood, Behavior and affect learning ability. According to the paediatricians, there is still more research to be done on this question, but there are already "sufficient reasons for concern". And the AAP encounters an epistemological problem in its conclusions, which Organization not concealed: The data only show a correlation that exists between development deficits and media consumption.

Did you know that two-year-olds don't understand anything on screens? However, no causal relationship has yet been established, for example according to the simple motto “TV makes you stupid!”. "Are children with language problems often put in front of the television?" Ask the pediatricians. Or: “Do children with attention deficit feel more drawn to the screen?”

Child justice or not is not important

From these Ask there would be a need to carry out further research intensively. One aspect particularly stands out in the recommendations of the AAP Eye: The question of a television program suitable for children recedes into the background; doctors are not primarily discussing what TV content is appropriate for young children. Her Criticism starts much more fundamentally because they consider “any form of use of electronic media” to be questionable - especially among those under two years of age.

That's a clear statement that probably the Federal Agency for Political Education (BpB) would not sign: Under the heading "Television already for babies?" she picks up on the discussion about the program Teletubbies, which ran a few years ago for two-year-olds on the public children's channel KIKA.

The effect of education is underestimated

According to BpB, the show wants to “impart initial cognitive skills”, that's what it is about
“Perceiving, thinking and speaking” of the young target group. The BpB states:

"One can see from the fears of many parents that the impact of television is usually overestimated and that one's own educational influence is often underestimated."

The BpB accepts the demand "Babies don't belong in front of the telly!" as a possible position. But: If you have a positive attitude towards television, “will for sure also have less difficulty engaging with the Teletubbies." There is also the tip to deal with the show in a humorous way: there could be a “tubby toast” for dinner, “cuddling to bed when you go to bed” could also be called “cuddling with tubbies”.

The effect of backround media: ask the brain about opportunities and risks

A soft as wax position, of which I have a clear No counter: The younger the children are, the more sensible it is not to expose them to the influence of electronic media at all. Especially since many parents are really new to how backround media is aimed directly at toddlers act. The AAP references an experiment Marie Evans Schmidt conducted with her colleagues:

50 children in Age 12, 24 and 36 months played with different toys for exactly one hour. A game show ran on the TV in the same room for 30 minutes, and the TV was switched off for the other half hour. The effect: Backround media not only significantly reduce the playing time of small children, but also the Attention, with which they devote themselves to the game. The television interrupted the children's play, even though their attention was not obviously focused on the device.

First the basics, then media usage

A first indication of the negative interactions between media consumption and brain development - interactions that play an important role in the development of the child. Schmidt and colleagues write:

"These results indicate later influences that are noticeable in cognitive development."

Digitality instead of reality - that seems a safe one Concept to be to rob babies of their foundation, later healthy deal with digital media. First a cellar must be built,
then the first and second floors. Then we can set up a computer under the roof - and do not have to fear that young people will later only use it for paddling.

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