A new study published in Human Communication Research has found that TV viewing “can lead to less interaction between parents and children, with a detrimental impact on literacy and language skills.”
The study examined 73 mother-child pairs, discovering that maternal communication with toddlers and preschoolers is at its highest when mom and child are reading—higher even than playing together.
The team found that when reading a book with their children parents used a more active communication style, bringing the child into contact with words they may not hear in every day speech, thereby improving their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. In contrast watching TV resulted in significantly fewer descriptions and positive responses.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.