Parenting - - In This Issue -

to use to­gether .

Ev­ery day, new ed­u­ca­tional apps are de­vel­oped and tablets

can be a won­der­ful learn­ing tool for chil­dren and par­ents

"But make sure they are one of many things you use to

teach and en­ter­tain your chil­dren, not the only thing", says

Fam­ily Coach Jenny Hale.

"Their brain is at a stage where they need to hear and

prac­tice lan­guage. The one-way bar­rage of lan­guage from

a gad­get doesn't teach them nearly as well as the in­ter­ac­tive

to-and-fro speech that hap­pens with nor­mal parental

in­ter­ac­tions. It's a pity if our voice is al­ways com­pet­ing with

the chat­ter from TV or the noise from a gad­get," she says.

"The best way to use a de­vice is with a child, rather than

just leav­ing them alone with it. Chil­dren learn best in the

con­text of warmth, se­cu­rity and your in­ter­ac­tion rather than

in the iso­la­tion of an elec­tronic bub­ble. Have them in your

lap or be­side you so that you are phys­i­cally touch­ing and

talk­ing to­gether. In that con­text, a tablet is prob­a­bly as good

as a book. On those oc­ca­sions when you do want them to

play alone with a gad­get, let them know it will be for a fixed

time. Set a timer on the stove or on the de­vice it­self."

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