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The One Thing We Know For Sure About Screens and Babies

In many western countries, babies and toddlers spend a lot of time looking at screens and no one really knows what long term effects this has on the young brains. But one thing that has been shown in recent studies is that when screens displace children’s interactions with people, this is bad for the child’s development.

“What makes all the difference is interactions, especially “serve and return” interactions. Baby makes a noise, Parent makes one back — and it grows into a conversation during which Baby not only begins to imitate particular sounds, but learns about the concept of conversation, and about how different facial expressions can have different meaning. Baby rolls a ball and Sister rolls it back — and Baby learns not only how to physically roll a ball and catch it, but about turn-taking, relationship-building, and how to interact and play with others.

This is all pretty crucial stuff — and stuff that takes repetition to learn. If a kid is playing on a tablet or watching TV instead of learning it, the brain develops differently, in ways that aren’t good — and that may become permanent.” Read more.

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