In this era of electronics and digital media books have been increasingly put aside as a form of interactive learning for our kids. However It may be time to revisit them as many children have been exhibiting social -cognitive difficulties with the increased use of digital media.
In an article in Infographic 2013 it was reported that by 2020 young tech users are predicted to have cognitive problems like inability to focus, lack of foresight and limited critical thinking ability. Perhaps this prediction is alarming but it is only what could occur. I think the key to offsetting this forecast is increased parental involvement in children’s lives and a concerted effort to present children with materials such as books which stimulate development socially and cognitively.
Most children books offer several social or communicative and cognitive benefits.
1. Books teach children about emotions and how to cope with their own feelings.
2. Reading books build the parent-child bond.
3. Books teach new vocabulary.
4. Books help children learn new phrases and sentence structures.
5. Books help to stretch a child’s attention span and teach joint attention.
6. Books set a foundation for school or academic success.
7. Books teach children to empathize with others.
8. Books teach a child how to imagine and set a foundation for imaginative and exploratory play.
9. Books helps children develop critical thinking.
I have just mentioned some of the benefits of books. In conclusion I would state that digital media is not the problem. Digital is part of our culture and I believe it’s here to stay. It is can be very useful. However parental supervision is important in limiting the time spent at the TV, tablet or computer. Digital media does not meet many of the social, communication and cognitive needs children have and care should be taken to also expose children to traditional media – such as books which offer many of the important benefits not found when children use digital media.