January 30th, 2017
What is one of the best things you can do for your young child? Reading out loud! It stimulates early brain development and promotes the development of language and social skills. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Does it matter if a child reads from a tablet, a laptop, a PC, a smartphone, or a regular book? Drumroll, please…it actually does not matter, as long as you provide a balance of print books and eBooks and remember to combine media use with human interaction. Reading using technology can be an enjoyable and valuable experience. Research tells us when children read eBooks, it is essential that there be adult interaction to ensure best results. Fancy, glowing touch-screens are no substitute for comforting, genuine face-to-face interactions. However, you can use the same techniques of asking your child questions about the story, counting or finding things in the pictures and modeling pronunciation whether you are reading a paper book or an eBook together. CCPL has always had an extensive collection of physical books and now a large selection of eBooks can be found on the newly designed OverDrive page on the library’s website. https://maryland.overdrive.com/library/kids
“Screen-time” has now been replaced by “media use” and is the term experts use to describe the amount of time a person looks at/uses media. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent findings for healthy media use does not support a one size fits all approach, but does emphasize the importance of being aware of your purpose when using media, whether for education or for entertainment. For help with making decisions about your family’s use of media, there is a new, highly recommended, easy-to-use online tool which assists parents in the creation of a media use plan for families with children ages 18 mos. – 18 yrs. This powerful tool can help families successfully monitor screen-time and develop effective uses for your family through various customizations.
While parenting in a media-centric world can be overwhelming, today’s devices are another tool for children, just like regular books, blocks, toys, and outside play. With thoughtful planning, interacting with your child using today’s latest technology can be a rewarding and educational experience for the entire family.