A couple of years back I wrote about an experiment, Draw big. The experiment was about using walls as readily available canvas. That was my attempt to help Asya; this post is about my wife’s efforts to build a good habit, a lifelong one, Reading books.
In many social gatherings, I have heard parents talk about how their kids are addicted to the screen. Cartoons are permanent residents even while eating food, on the go and even before going to bed.
Kids spend more time with these two-dimensional drawings than with parents. This is a big problem.
I am not a child psychologist neither a doctor. But I am confident that, screen time will do more harm than good for our children in the long run. It is passive learning and is restrictive. Yogita, my wife, is very much aware of this problem as well. And she is taking; Instead, an old approach in this digital age to avoid our four-year-old daughter getting addicted to the screen. She is trying to introduce books. She wants Asya to read a hardbound book, not a digital version.
Yogita wants Asya to read a hardbound book, not a digital version.
Here are three things she is doing for last 4–5 months with Asya.
1. Visiting public library on Saturdays, at least thrice a month
Visiting a library is a family event at our home. Asya gets super excited to visit our public library in Santa Clara. She loves to return the old books and to check out new. Yogita introduced her to the concept of a public library, a place where anyone can go and read books. A place where one needs to be quieter and respect its ambiance.
2. Allowing Asya to select her books, up to 10
I have never seen Yogita helping Asya to choose books. This is an important detail. Even if Asya picks up a book, she has already read, Yogita is okay with it. She thinks either the story or the visuals are entertaining to Asya. As parents, we should encourage children to make their choices and not impose our concepts. We have started with books, let’s see how it goes in future :)
3. Reading books together every night before going to bed
First of all, it helps in good night sleep. Many studies are proving that watching screen before going to bed is harmful. Also, reading books together is building a special bond between mom and daughter. It helps Asya grasp high-level concepts than the exact words of the story. She tries to narrate the picture with her imagination, which mostly does not align with the text, but mimics the expressions from the images.
Nowadays she wants to learn the spelling of the words which she thinks is a sign of a grown up. There lies the self-motivation.