Modern technology has given way to a new perspective of doing things. We don’t need a television to watch a movie or tv show we just use a phone. We don’t need a radio to listen to music, we just hit play on Spotify or Apple music and we have instant access to thousands of songs at the tap of a button. However, that same technology can take away from some of the richer and more fulfilling things in life no matter how shiny or innovative that technology may be.
There seems to be something new coming out every day and we are sucked into that wormhole and want the latest technology, the latest iPhone or the latest video game console, so much so that we forget who we are and where we come from.
Before the explosion of technology, we all learned to walk; though not with the help of a gadget but with our own two legs. Then followed talking, not through an app but simply by listening to our parents over and over again until eventually we formed words and eventually in similar fashion learned to read and write through repetition, practice and determination. All of these are skills that play a critical role in our growth and development from before we are born and onward for the rest of our lives.
Babies can hear the voice of their mother during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy so, reading to them can jumpstart their understanding of language and speech patterns. As they continue to grow so does their understanding of the world around them, as infants, when you read to them you are encouraging their social skills. If you read with enthusiasm and use sounds or expressions throughout the story this triggers their emotional awareness.
As toddlers, reading harnesses their ability to speak and it motivates them to ask questions about the world around them. Hearing you read the book focuses on their ability and understanding of how to pronounce words.
As they move on to grade school, they transition to reading on their own and expanding their vocabulary as well as enhancing their empathy skills by reading about stories, places, and people different from themselves.
During their teen years however, many have a fallout with reading and see it as a thing of the past or even boring and it’s here where they are sucked into the wormhole of technology and the latest trends. However, some of the fallout may not be due to technology but due to lack of interest in what they are reading. I remember when I was in middle school and high school my reading and writing assignments weren’t the most thrilling by any means and in turn, I didn’t want to read at all. A teacher of mine when I was in 6th grade told me this once “Someone doesn’t just stop reading, they just haven’t found a book that they like.”
Visiting your local library is a great place to start, there is bound to be a book for everybody but if the kiddos are more into the digital side of things their phones and tablets can turn into eBook readers without much effort. It may seem boring for them to read a book but if they just give it a chance there is no telling where a book can take them. Not to mention the benefits that reading can have on them like a better vocabulary and more likely to score higher on a reading exam.
No matter how old your child is, an infant, toddler, teen or an adult it’s never too late to pick up a book and read. If you don’t like it, put it down and find something else, but trust me- when you find the right book, you won’t want to put it down.