Developmental DVDs might do more harm than good
Moms and Dads are proud people. If you ask a parent about their child, they are likely to tell you that he or she is the smartest or the cutest child in existence. After they tell you this, then they will show you photographic proof. However, for parents who want to give their child an edge by using development DVD’s and TV programs, a new study suggests that it might do more harm than good.
According to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, parents who want to give their infants a boost in learning language probably should limit the amount of time they expose their children to DVDs and videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby. Rather than helping babies, the over-use of such productions actually may slow down infants eight to sixteen months of age when it comes to acquiring vocabulary.
Researchers conducted random telephone interviews with more than one thousand families in Minnesota and Washington. Television, DVD, and video viewing were divided into four categories: baby DVDs and videos; educational TV programs, DVDs and videos such as Sesame Street, Arthur and Blue's Clues. Children's non-educational television shows and movies such as Bob the Builder and Toy Story, and adult television such as Oprah, and sports programming.
As part of the telephone interviews, which took about forty-five minutes to complete, a standard inventory for measuring infant language development was used. Parents of the eight to sixteen-month-olds were asked how many of a list of about ninety words their child understood. Typical words on this list included ‘choo choo,’ ‘mommy,’ and ‘nose.’ Parents of the seventeen to twenty-four-month-olds were asked how many words on a similar list they had heard their child use. Typical words from this list were ‘truck,’ ‘cookie,’ and ‘balloon.’