In the age of social media, Tic Tok and cell phone, tablet and computer screens galore, it’s important to remember to take time away from blue light technology and expand young minds through reading. Americans spent less time reading and more time watching TV last year than ever before, according to new time use data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average TV time, meanwhile, grew by about 20 minutes, to 2 hours and 50 minutes a day (Washington Post). This summer, help your child find the joy in reading instead of playing one more video game or making one more Tic Tok video.
Reading Books Improves Cognitive Ability Versus Screens
According to a study conducted by CNN, “When it came to screen time, kids who used screens more than one hour a day had poorer emerging literacy skills, less ability to use expressive language, and tested lower on the ability to rapidly name objects. In contrast, children who frequently read books with their caregiver scored higher on cognitive tests.” In today’s world, we want to do everything we can to keep our kids engaged and learning while also making it fun. Reading is an important life skill that promotes your child’s intellectual and emotional growth and social development.
Multitude of Benefits of Reading More
Reading helps your child stimulate their imagination and grow their vocabulary. Children who read more books have broader language skills, and develop literacy earlier than others. Reading helps to promote communication and socialization in children as well as critical thinking skills. When children can relate a situation to a character in a book, it may help them to think through something they are experiencing. Emotional development and growth can also thrive in young readers. Children can learn about other subjects through simply reading. They can learn history and culture through storytelling and develop a broader understand of the world around them. Reading can also calm a child or exercise their brain and help them to concentrate. For each child, the possibly of expanding their mind through reading is endless.
Why Should You Cut Back on Screen Time?
Research finds that when parents actively monitor their children’s screen time, it positivity effects a child’s overall development. Cutting back on screen time makes kids more active, more engaged and more social. Children even sleep better at night if they are off electronics for an hour or more before bed.
How You Should Actively Monitor Screen Time
- Set time limits
- Make screen time earned
- Get screens out of the bedroom
- Know what your child is watching
How to Encourage Your Child to Read
- Set an example
Let your child see you read at night or at lunch instead of watch TV. Or read together.
- Set time limits on device time
Give a limit on device time. Stick to your limits and enforce “quiet reading time”
- Have set family reading time
Have an hour or two per day or week that the whole family is quiet to read or write.
- Make it an adventures (library, book store trips)
Give them a reason to enjoy reading. Go pick out books together.
- Reward your child (reading club, stickers, etc.)
Join a book club or a reading club at the library. Or get creative and crafty and make a reading chart with stickers and earned rewards.
- Make it a group discussion
Let your child review what they’re reading. Either out loud or on paper. Engage in discussions with them and make them the authority on the topic. Listen to them tell you all about their stories.
Getting Your Child Off the Screens & Into Books Has Multiple Benefits
This summer, teach your kids it’s cool to stay in and read. Build their imaginations and their vocabulary by taking them on an adventure through literature. Step away from the games and spend some quiet time on an internal adventure. You may be surprised what your family will discover.