Did you miss our annual early literacy event about reading and screen time? Don't fear, we have a recap here!
A pediatrician with a master's degrees in library science and public health, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria offered parents the prescription for giving their child a great start in life. Small efforts, like reading with a child every day, can have a huge impact on your child’s life.
I asked our Child and Family Library staff what piece of information they thought was the most interesting from his talks. Here's what they had to say:
Jessica: I love how he acknowledged the real needs of parents and how screen time is sometimes necessary to get things done! It's all about balance. As Dr. Navsaria said, "Sometimes you need to take a shower."
Lauren: I liked several things...The first is the idea of the Media Use Plan. I've heard of it before, and how great is it that he covered this so that families all together are balancing their online and offline time by setting limits and being involved! Caregivers should be consistent and work together with the child.
The idea that content matters is something I wrote several times in my notes—and not only about pacing, but also about violence and distracting content. I know media is very influential, and having those talking points are great.
Lori N.: I loved how he really promotes live interaction versus screen viewing! It was so encouraging to hear him say kids learn best from a live person, and the interactions and bonding are huge in their development!
Also, I heard him talk about kids watching violence, and how their play is different and more violent after watching [a show about ninjas], as opposed to their more mellow play after viewing [a show about a purple dinosaur].
He reiterated what a couple of our grownups are concerned about ["educational"] videos and their relation to inattentiveness and hyperactivity.
Lori R.: The serve and return interaction concept along with the research showing that the only thing that makes a real difference in the rate of development is the presence of a loving and nurturing adult.
Reading aloud is more than just nice! It is critical to brain development.
Don't forget about the power of conversational reading!
Mollie (me): I was astounded by his thoughts on why some children hear more commands than participating in conversations with their caregivers. In minority families, obeying a command can mean the difference between life and death.
Betsy: With young children, learning happens best during face to face interactions in the context of a loving relationship with a caregiver. Serve and return is the tennis metaphor for conversational turns.
There's no app like your lap!
There is no such thing as an educational video for children under 2. They’re just responding to changing images. The learning happens when the caregiver talks about it with the child or re-teaches the content. But, because parenting is hard, it is okay to let them have screen time if you need to take a shower. Just don’t do it because you think it is educational.
Brains can re-wire at any point in a lifespan with synaptic plasticity (strengthening synapses in the brain). Cellular plasticity (forming new connections between neurons) declines by age 5.
Family media plans – try one today!
Did you attend one of Dr. Navsaria's talks? What did you learn that stuck with you? Let us know in the comments!