Thanks for stopping by A Family Place. I enjoy working with families, and sharing the power of music with them. Kindermusik provides this outlet for me. This blog will allow me to share thoughts and ideas that can help families in their journey.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Technology vs Human Interaction, part 2

Do you have the newest iPhone? iPad? Do you text more than talk? I saw a headline that said "2010, the year we stopped talking." I don't know the effect this will have on young children, but I guarantee that they still need face time & floor time. Much of what you will read in this post I learned from the book "Different Learners" by Jane M. Healy. Dr. Healy examines hot issues that include learning disabilities, ADHD, the hazards of forced early learning, and the influences of electronic media.

Most parents seek the best for their children, we want them to have every advantage in life. Technology certainly provides many opportunities to further educate and entertain our children, but be certain that technology isn't replacing YOU. Children need face time with a verbally responsive adult. This develops the brain circuits for social and communication skills. There must be a balance of wired and spontaneous, 3 dimensional, non-virtual experiences. (p. 312)

What about that spontaneous play? Is it important? Yes, because higher thinking centers of the brain use language known as "inner-speech or self talk" - to plan, monitor their own behavior and focus attention." ( Example: This block needs to go on top - careful, don't fall over). Screen time misses this critical developmental stepping stone.

Did you know that 3/4 of young children in the United States has TV on almost all the time? Whether they are watching it or understanding it or not, it interrupts brain building effects of their play. They switch their play to glance at the screen, and it interrupts the flow of their thought and attention. (p. 301)

What can you do as a parent?
  • Lend your child your adult brain as you watch or play.
  • Use conversation to expand understanding and help your child be critical media user
Lest you think that Dr. Healy is completely opposed to media: "after age 7, any medium that causes children to stop, think, plan, reflect or evaluate may improve thinking skills." (p. 312)

Of course, Kindermusik provides plenty of face time, floor time and parent/child interaction. So, sing and play everyday!

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