Without actively knowing about it, a lot of parents are squeezing the role of ‘reading’ out of the lives of their children and allowing them to get consumed in the vast world of digital media, be it television, tablets or even mobile phones.
• Reading is more relevant today than any time before. With so many options available in the digital world, kids will be reading less because of the mediums they are exposed to. Without actively knowing about it, a lot of parents are squeezing the role of 'reading' out of the lives of their children and allowing them
to get consumed in the vast world of digital media, be it television, tablets or even mobile phones. There are so many more distractions now than ever before. Author Jaishree Misra opines, "Television, the Internet, video games, Netflix, all these jostle against books when people are seeking entertainment. And, of course, time shrinks too when there are so many more things to do.
Only a genuinely good reader would turn
all the other choices down and consciously make the time to read a book."
. Jiggy George, Founder and CEO, Dream Theatre agrees and points out, "Reading is more relevant today than any time before. With so many options available in the digital world, kids will be reading less
because of the mediums they are exposed to."
And there are studies that suggest video content limits creativity. "If a child is
reading a book, since he can't see it develop in the form of fast moving content/ video, a lot is conjured in his mind. This opens up the mind," he adds. He has created the Beebop series of books for kids.
"Beebop spurs a sense of adventure and curiosity in kids. The books do not have western content but Indian content that can travel across. Every book has an activity book to help kids' deep- dive a little more in the world of books," he adds.
Sadly, more exposure to digital content leads to attention span getting shorter, so it's important that they read before they enter the digital world.
And by reading we don't mean that you force your toddler or your five-year-old to know how to read.The process of learning to read is gradual but its inception has to be made early.
Parents should start reading to their kids early. Author Jaishree feels, "When it comes to reading, it's never too early. Child psychologists tell you different things about children's receptivity to
the spoken and written word so it's best to go on the assumption.
that even a tiny baby is listening and absorbing everything going on around them. No harm in reading to them when they are still in their cribs, in my opinion. I love those squashy bath-books you can
buy that can be dunked in water, sat on, chewed on etc and regularly buy them for friends' little ones. Catch them young to try to develop habits such as turning a page, rather than just tapping away with their fingertips!"
A very important aspect of introducing reading to our kids is that we have to be their 'reading' role models. It's important for the kid to see people in their family read books or even newspaper.
A study published in the Child Development journal stated that
reading allows young minds to use their imagination. This ability helps them think rationally in mathematics, science and even logic.
Another study suggests that a child's brain is fully developed by the age of five so it's best to introduce books early on.
For many parents who are already feeling guilty for letting their child have more screen time than 'book' time, there is some respite in knowing that no matter how hard you try, your child will
eventually be enveloped by the enigma of digital world.
"That's because the medium is huge and is entering every nook and corner
of your life," adds George.
It's very important to lock screen time for your growing kids. "As they get older, it becomes difficult to build that discipline in them to sit in one place and study books.
Having said that, we need to understand that books are never going to be massive in terms of consumption. Kids will eventually turn to digital content but reading should always be a part of their growing up and learning," shares George.
Since books don't have a digital impact to it, it provokes imagination.The digital content is fast paced and immense and
once we let our kids get enveloped in it, it's a tougher way out.
News source: Times of india.