Talk to your kids during TV time to spike their curiosity

The study suggests that engaging in conversation with your younger ones while sharing TV time increases curiosity in them.

Michigan: The study suggests that engaging in conversation with your younger ones while sharing TV time increases curiosity in them.

The findings of the study were published in the ‘PLOS ONE Journal’. The more parents engaged in conversation with preschoolers during shared TV time, the more likely those children were to have higher curiosity levels when they reached kindergarten, the new study suggested. This was particularly true for children with socioeconomic disadvantages.

“Our findings reinforce the importance of parent conversation to promote early childhood development and curiosity, especially for children from under-resourced families,” said lead author Prachi Shah, M.D. M.S., a developmental and behavioural paediatrician at University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“We know that more frequent parent-child conversation is promotive of several areas of early child development, and this could be true for promoting a child’s curiosity as well,” Shah added.

Watching a show, movie, or other content with parents while talking together could be associated with fostering a preschoolers’ curiosity, added Shah.

Researchers assessed hours of daily television exposure and frequency of parent screen-time conversation among 1,500 preschoolers and then measured early childhood curiosity in kindergarten.

The study specifically focused on curiosity levels, which Shah’s previous research has found is associated with enhanced learning and higher academic achievement in reading and math at kindergarten, and behavioural-developmental benefits, especially for children from families with lower socioeconomic status.

“Curiosity is an important foundation for scientific innovation, joy in learning and numerous positive outcomes in childhood. We want to better understand what fosters curiosity in early childhood, which could potentially identify ways to help mitigate the achievement gap associated with poverty,” Shah said.

“Parent-child conversation facilitates children’s thinking, learning and exploration — all behavioural indicators of curiosity,” she added.

first published:Nov. 29, 2021, 2 a.m.

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