Today we went to a big store checking on a new laptop for me, and our girls were sitting in their strollers each of them holding a book in their hands. A shop assistant stopped by and said how glad he is seeing our girls with real books instead of screens. I was replying that of course, they get books to keep them occupied but it got me thinking after a while.
Our world is changing for sure; we all know that. And I’m thankful for most of the new technologies that make our life safer, easier, or more comfortable. But I’m also a big believer that kids need to understand the world with all their senses; they need to feel and touch things and build towers from real blocks instead of switching elements on a screen. And they need to know the great feeling of turning paper pages in a book, the typical smell and how it feels to disappear in a world of imagination while being curled up on the couch. This is the way I grew up; I fell in love with books, and I want my girls to have the same experience.
But as a parent, I know the challenge of keeping the right balance between keeping traditions and getting them prepared for a future of technology and fast changes. I’m a fan of technological progress (hey, I’m running a business offering virtual services) and I want my girls having the best of both worlds – the old world with the smell of real books and the new world where they can find any information they need just with a few clicks. What I’m trying to avoid is keeping them occupied with my phone or pad. It’s not so difficult at the moment because they are little and don’t claim screen time, but sometimes my ambitions are challenging. It’s challenging when I need some time to get things done when they are fuzzy and clingy. But then I take a deep breath, join them on the carpet in our living room, and we read a book.
And you know what? These are the most precious enjoyable moments in my life, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sure things will change when they get older, we will argue about them having a new phone, about just a couple of more minutes to finish this level or spending too much time on social media.
But I hope they will also share my love and passion for books; they will spend time in bookstores and read stories to their kids when they have their own families. And that they will tell them that they’re keeping traditions from their childhood, sharing sweet memories about storytimes on carpets.
You can’t get them from screens.
How do you handle screen time and story time in your family? Are you facing the same challenges, having the same experiences? I’m happy to read your comments and thoughts.