Many families are used to having television as background noise even if they are not watching it. It’s like having a background noise at home, whether someone is watching it or just because it’s on and that’s it. Especially for parents who stay or work at home, the television can feel like a source of connection to the “outside” world and can even provide a source of distraction.
There are parents who with television feel that there is a world “beyond” diaper changes or toys on the floor . Unfortunately, all that TV background noise can have a negative effect on your child’s learning ability.
HOW TV BACKGROUND NOISE CAN AFFECT YOUR CHILD
Background noise from televisions can hinder young children’s learning ability. The studies that do exist of language development in young children were conducted in laboratory settings that are not exactly real-life situations. For example, it might be a little easier to measure young children’s language and interaction in a quiet, controlled laboratory rather than in a noisy living room or living room.
Although language development studies are best done in real noisy environments, such as playing games while watching TV on. In a study conducted with these conditions, two groups of children were observed: young children between 22 and 24 months of age and young children who were between 28 and 30 months of age.
The results found that young children could learn better when the background noise was lower. Noise was measured in decibels with a signal-to-noise ratio, and not surprisingly, the lower the ratio, the easier it will be for young children to learn. The researchers asked young children to name new objects that they had not seen before, testing their ability to not only learn the new object and successfully retain the object’s name in memory, but also to say it.
Both groups of young children could tell the label of the object when the person saying the name had 10 decibels was louder than the background noise. However, when the signal-to-noise ratio was 5, they lost the ability to name the object. The only way older children could name the object with such a high background noise ratio was if they heard the word entered first without background noise.
WHAT DOES THE STUDY MEAN
Basically, the study shows that not only is it more difficult for young children to focus on a skill being taught when there is a lot of background noise from a TV on, but the noise actually literally affects their ability to learn, especially language skills , because it distracts their minds.
Just as it is difficult for adults to focus on listening to someone speak or learning a new task if there is background noise, it is also difficult for young children. Young people’s ears can also be more sensitive to noise levels, so it is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of how loud “harmless” background noise from a television can be.
So does this mean that you have to ban television at all times from your home? Not necessarily. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend limiting screen time for young children, it is up to each family to decide what types of media are appropriate for them.
A parent watching the morning news while enjoying breakfast may not be an immediate cause for alarm and panic, but a good rule of thumb is to turn off the TV or other screens that emit background noise when not in use. Especially if you are trying to teach children something, or if you are focusing on any kind of educational activity, background noise from the TV can do more harm than good. So the next time you want to focus on those cards or teach your child a new word, you just have to make sure the TV is off.