Article to read #53
In This House We Read Actual Books So Our Kids Don’t Become Screen Zombies
by Katharine Reid
Published May 08, 2019
I am not a huge fan of screen time for kids. Especially young kids, and especially when it comes to being on iPads, computers or letting one show roll into another. And so, we read to our kids a lot in our house. Their books are well loved, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
But sometimes my take on things is a tad hypocritical. I do frequently use my OWN computer to make plans with friends, set up play dates, do my work, plan our families’ appointments (and manage our schedules), pay bills, buy household and kids’ stuff — the list goes on.
I can set limits for my kids all I want, but they learn by example. My example. And I want the examples I set to reflect the values I want to instill in them. They see me doing a lot of different things in any given day, but one thing I make sure they always see is me reading.
There are a few great reasons why it’s important my kids see me (and their dad) reading books.
They see that tech isn’t the only way to be entertained as an adult
We live in a tech-obsessed world, and it definitely has some advantages. But I want my kids to grow up knowing that tech is a tool, not the be-all-end-all of entertainment. There are so many beautiful stories, and places and things to learn about — and books are a great way to do that. A recent study even found that brain connectivity in children is increased by the time they spend reading books and decreased by the length of exposure to screen-based media.
They copy our behaviour
Knowing that their parents love books and reading makes my kids more interested in books too. Reading is a big deal in our house, and there’s nothing my kids love more than bringing home a giant stack of books from the library and going through them on the couch. I credit this to the constant flow of books into our home — not just for them, but for the grown-ups too.
They see that I’m a person with my own interests
This is a big one for me. As a stay-at-home parent, I need my kids to see that I also have interests (outside of just catering to their every need and running our household). When they see me reading, they like to ask what the book is about or to read some of it aloud and explain why I’m reading about a certain topic. It opens up a conversation and is a lovely way to connect to each other’s interests.
They learn the value of quiet time
My kids are still young (four and two) and our house is usually LOUD. A fresh stack of books for kids and adults alike brings the decibel level down considerably and creates a calm atmosphere. There’s nothing like sitting in comfortable silence together as a family — especially when I get to enjoy a grown-up book of my own, even if only for a few minutes.
...for the enjoyment
and passion of words,
thoughts, visuals and disciplines. page created: May 14, 2019
She is a freelance writer and editor who loves bookshops, nature and chocolate. The former editor of a health website, she now spends her days with her two adorable, energetic boys. She can usually be found either going on outdoor adventures with them, or attempting to get them outside so they stop destroying the house.
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