Switch off and talk

Remote control There are so many electronic devices to distract us from talking to each other - phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs to name a few. Using these can be fun, but children also need lots of practise listening and talking to other people. This helps them develop good language and social skills.

Young children find it hard to concentrate on more than two things at once. TV and other background noise make it hard for them to learn. You can help your child to develop good listening and talking skills if you:

  • Spend ‘special time’ with your child talking about what you are doing or have done that day.
  • Spend time playing, reading, and singing together. This is a better way for young children to learn than electronic toys and games and cheaper as well!
  • Turn off the TV and other distractions when you are playing together. Turn off the TV if no one is watching.
  • Cut down the amount of time your child spends on a screen. For under 2s, try to limit time using a screen to less than 30 minutes a day.
  • Budge up and talk! Find time to watch programmes and play electronic games together. Talking about programmes and games can help a child’s language to develop and is better than them watching alone.
  • Make sure that programmes, games and apps are recommended for children of your child’s age.

Did you know?

The average 3-4 year old spends 27.5 hours each week watching TV, using the internet or playing electronic games. Reducing this will be support your child’s communication skills.

You can view our switch off and talk poster here [pdf] 2MB

The  leaflet can be viewed here [pdf] 2MB