Today’s children have access to multiple screens – from televisions and tablets to laptops and smartphones – causing parents to wonder if they may be spending too much time with media. New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) include good news for parents on children’s TV time. Greater emphasis is placed on the quality of the media kids interact with, rather than the quantity, and points to PBS KIDS as a leading resource for educational programming. The new guidelines also encourage parents to watch TV with their children, and talk about it together.
I have such fond memories from my own childhood of gathering family together to watch favorite shows. I’ve enjoyed doing this with my own children and now my granddaughter.
The AAP’s recommendations reinforce the approach that PBS KIDS and Community Idea Stations have pioneered for decades – that when media is developed responsibly and thoughtfully, it can make a big impact on children’s education, and that when parents are engaged, kids learn even more. It’s this “secret sauce” of combining high-quality media with parent-child interaction that we believe can unlock every child’s learning potential.
While PBS KIDS plays an important role in providing quality media content, the crucial component is collaborative learning—parents talking to their children about what they’re watching, what they’re playing and how they’re learning. By interacting with and guided by appropriate media programming, parents can see what their children are passionate about and interested in, which in turn allows for deeper engagement, and opportunities to inspire learning experiences for their kids.
We know that this approach works. In fact, we have the research to prove it. A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University found that PBS KIDS’ series DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD helped kids learn important social skills like empathy, recognizing emotions and social confidence, with the key to this learning being parental involvement. When parents talked with their children about the shows they watched, the learning outcomes were greater.
Given the many benefits of co-viewing and co-playing with your children, it is always a good time to watch quality programs and learn together.