Books, not electronics, better for bedtime stories: study

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According to a University of Michigan study, going the old-fashioned way to reading your kids’ bedtime stories is better than using modern technology.

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The study, which involved 72 parents of children aged 24 to 36 months and was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, suggests that children will engage more when read from real books rather than on a tablet, the British daily Mail reported . He found that parents spoke more to their children while reading a book and that children responded more than if a tablet was used.

“Tablets and mobile devices are important parts of modern family life, and application design features can hamper children’s responses despite parents’ efforts to engage their children in a developmentally meaningful conversation.” , said the study’s authors. “We found that toddler responses to parent verbalizations (a central aspect of parent-child conversational reciprocity) were lower when using nursery rhyme apps for tablets compared to using nursery rhymes. a printed book.

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“Not only were parental verbalizations towards toddlers less frequent under tablet conditions, the majority of these verbalizations were also ignored by toddlers and to a greater degree when using tablets by compared to a printed book. “

The study used three Fisher Price nursery rhyme apps available on the Google Play Store – these apps were chosen because they “naturally elicit turn and gesture compared to other apps aimed at toddlers -” and books with the same text. The stories included Itsy, Bitsy Spider; One, two, buckle my shoe; Row, row, row your boat; and Hickory Dickory Dock.

Distractions on the tablet, such as animations, advertisements, and other pop-ups, were cited as the reasons for kids’ lack of engagement.

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“Parent-child interactions are central correlates of future child development outcomes (language, peer relationships, academic achievement), which are shaped by several aspects of the environment, including digital media,” said the study authors said, adding that parents should watch digital media. with their children while asking them questions and talking to them.

“Pediatricians may wish to promote co-viewing and informative media practices, but may also find that the regulation of children’s emotions may determine the response to designing interactive tablets,” the study concluded.

The majority of parents who participated in the study – 93% – were mothers.

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