Will allowing my toddler to watch children’s educational television programs or videos help my child’s speech and language development?



Some parents may think that by putting their child in front of a video or a TV show that he or she is going to learn language. However, language is acquired best when the child is learning language in the natural context of an activity, play experience or verbal interactions with other people. It can be as simple as talking with your children while they are riding in the car with you, as long as they are involved in what you are talking about. A TV show doesn’t necessarily do that. Some videos may be a little more interactive, but it’s not necessarily the best way for language to be facilitated. Because research has shown that unstructured play time is more valuable for the developing brain than electronic media, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages screen time for children under two years of age. For more information, visit www.aap.org or www.asha.org.