I often see young children at the grocery store, at a restaurant, etc., looking at a phone, ipad, or screen of some kind. I know this is a touchy subject, but new research is showing an increased risk in speech delays due to handheld screen time. The first 4 years are a key learning period for children’s language (understanding and use of words, grammatical structures, sentence formation, etc.) and cognitive (brain) development. Make the most of this time! Think of all the missed opportunities to teach and connect with a child that are lost when they are looking at a screen rather than interacting with the world around them. It may be easier to give a child your phone to keep them entertained at the store, but if you try to engage them and make them a part of the shopping experience you will not go back! This is not meant to chastise anyone, but instead to challenge you to view these simple experiences (such as a trip to the grocery store) as learning opportunities for your child. If you are wondering how to make this a reality, come back next week for my tips for a better shopping trip with your child.
Pass this along to family members or friends with young children!