How parents' cell phone use can affect kids learning language

MOMSEVERYDAY -- Did you know merely having a smartphone nearby reduces brainpower?

Researchers at the University of Texas studied 800 cellphone users and found those with their phones in another room did better on tests than those with their phones at their desk.

Jennifer Bell is a Philadelphia-area mom, using her cell phone in the pursuit of science. Child psychologists asked Bell to teach a new word to her 2-year-old, but also answer a strategically timed cell phone call. Researchers at Temple University’s Language Learning Lab wanted to know whether or not the interruption by the call caused the language learning process to halt. Turns out, it does.

"The child doesn’t learn the word, when it’s interrupted, and does learn the word when you have a conversation," says Dr. Kathy Hirsch-Pasek.

To build language skills, parents should turn off their cell phones when with their child.