Hoping your child develops into a healthy and intelligent individual is the wish of most parents. Living in such a competitive society fuels the drive to take advantage of their early learning years. Firms have seen this as a large business opportunity and as a consequence, there are many products that 'aim' to help babies learn and develop cognitive skills. However, we have to be careful when making purchases, as some might bring harm rather than benefits.
Some parents might decide to show their children 'educational DVDs'- having their child sit quietly with little hassle whilst being able to learn at the same time seems like a fairly good deal. Take 'Baby Einstein – First Words' DVDs as an example. These programmes claim to boost toddler's IQ before starting school. It may seem educational, but research has provided evidence that electronic and screen-based edutainment affects the brain negatively, as flashing lights and quick scene changes overstimulate the brain.
Children who watch such DVDs miss out on playing with their parents, other children and toys. Your baby might watch, but there is no interaction which is vital in learning processes. Interaction also allows the child to develop a stronger attachment to the parent which has shown to be helpful for the child to learn in later years. Talking to them in infant-directed speech which most toddlers have shown preference to can also help grammar development. Moreover, newborns prefer their mother's voice over others.
There are many factors within the child that affect their learning, but the parents are the shapers of clay. The important thing is that a balance should be achieved between showing such stimulating programmes and interaction with the rest of the world.
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