Ms. Rachel YouTube Impact on Toddler Development and Screen Time
If you have a baby or toddler, chances are you’re already acquainted with Ms. Rachel, perhaps even more than you’d like. This YouTube sensation has undeniably gained global prominence in recent years, and parents are suggesting that she might be contributing to their children’s language development.
However, the question remains: is Ms. Rachel truly as advantageous for children as her widespread popularity suggests? The effervescent YouTube personality has not escaped scrutiny from certain experts, who contend that the show may not be as beneficial as it appears.
Who is Ms Rachel?
Ms. Rachel, aka Rachel Griffin Accurso, is a former New York preschool teacher and a devoted mother to her son, Thomas, who faced speech delays. With a Master’s Degree in Musical Education, she created “Ms Rachel’s Songs for Littles” on YouTube. Through speech, song, and sign language, she imparts simple vocabulary to babies. Her educational songs engage young minds and, notably, have aided children in speech development. Her YouTube channel has struck a chord with parents, amassing over two million subscribers and an astonishing one billion views, making her a prominent figure in early childhood education through her creative and engaging content.
Why are experts slamming Ms Rachel?
Despite Ms. Rachel’s immense popularity, some experts are raising concerns about whether she is truly beneficial for children. Jerrica Sannes, an educator based in the United States, recently sparked a social media debate when she criticized the show’s creator and her program. According to Sannes, the most successful preschool shows are not necessarily the best for children; rather, they excel in holding a child’s attention longer than what may be naturally feasible. Sannes further argues that these shows often deceive parents and caregivers into believing that their content is “educational.”
In her critique, Sannes also provides a range of recommendations and statistics regarding infants and screen time, which you can find in her Instagram post below.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that children under the age of five limit their screen time to one hour or less per day. These guidelines emphasize the importance of age-appropriate screen time, suggesting that infants and one-year-olds should have no exposure to screens, while two-year-olds should be limited to one hour or less of screen time for activities they may not prefer. Three and four-year-olds are also encouraged to keep their screen time within the one-hour limit.
As a parent of a five-year-old, I understand the challenges of adhering to these recommendations in today’s digital age. It’s not always easy to ensure that our children meet these guidelines. I must confess that there are times when my child has more screen time than I would prefer. However, it’s essential to be aware of these recommendations, as they serve as a valuable reference point for parents. Without this awareness, children might end up spending even more time in front of screens.
So, is Ms Rachel actually bad for children?
According to Dr. Cara Goodwin, a child psychologist and mother of three, there is no published research supporting the notion that Ms. Rachel’s programming has detrimental effects on children. This is because substantial research often lags behind prevailing trends, requiring years to catch up and provide comprehensive insights.
Nevertheless, Dr. Goodwin does reference a notable study from 2007 concerning ‘baby media,’ as published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study draws parallels between Ms. Rachel and the 90s and 00s TV show “Baby Einstein,” as they share common themes and objectives, with both programs aiming to enhance early childhood development. These shows incorporate elements such as music, a deliberate pacing, object labeling, sign language, and the use of puppets.
The research indicated that for every hour an eight to 16-month-old child spent watching baby TV, they demonstrated a reduced vocabulary of six to eight words. However, this particular study later faced scrutiny and questioning regarding its findings.
Subsequently, another study published in the British Journal of Psychology revealed that children who watched “Baby Einstein” did not exhibit notable language learning benefits from the videos. However, the study did highlight a crucial factor in children’s vocabulary comprehension and production – the amount of time they spent being read to by caregivers.
So what is the solution?
What should you do if you are finding that you rely on Ms Rachel for a break so you can get some jobs done or have a hot meal? Is having no screen time for your toddler realistic for your family?
If the answer is a big no then maybe balance is key. Make yourself aware of the guidelines and see how they can be incorporated into your life as much as possible.
And remember, if you have any concerns about your child’s development then please seek advice from a professional who can properly assess their needs.
- Introduction to Ms. Rachel’s YouTube Channel: This article delves into the influence of Ms. Rachel’s popular YouTube channel on the development of babies and toddlers. It highlights her rising prominence and the belief among parents that her content aids in language development for young children.
- Expert Criticisms and Screen Time Guidelines: The article explores expert critiques, with a focus on concerns raised by educators like Jerrica Sannes. It discusses the World Health Organization’s screen time recommendations, emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate limits for young children.
- Research and Balanced Approach: The article examines research findings regarding the impact of programs like Ms. Rachel’s on children’s vocabulary development. It stresses the need for a balanced approach to screen time and encourages parents to be aware of guidelines while seeking professional advice for concerns about their child’s development.
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Micajah McGregor, Editor in Chief of FanFest.com and renowned entertainment journalist, graduated from USC with a focus on Journalism and Film Studies. With an MBA from The Wharton School, he began his career at “PopCulture Pulse” and has been instrumental in shaping FanFest into a prime entertainment news source. Known for his financial analysis of celebrity net worths, Micajah received the ‘Digital Editor of the Year’ award in 2018. He’s also an active blogger, sharing his passion for superhero films and ’90s TV. Contact him at [email protected] for engaging entertainment insights.