As a mom who was once quoted in the Wall Street Journal on a fluke about how she can’t stand it when kids play with apps and electronic devices, I’m probably the only mom on the planet that veers away from all-things electronic when it comes to her kids (except TV… but that doesn’t count in my book).
Despite my continuing online shenanigans, my husband is truly the techy in our family (don’t tell anyone). Since day one, he’s been the one busting out the iPhone/iPad to show videos, play music and – now – read books to our little girls. “Don’t use those things with them!” I harp. But then I start thinking that he’s on to something when I find myself standing at my kitchen countertop for 30-minutes at a time… piecing and taping the pages of ripped books (some of my most favorite books!) together just so we can continue to enjoy them as a family. I have better things to do with my time, I think to myself.
My previous verdict about electronic devices for reading: ABSOLUTELY NO WAY.
My current verdict about electronic devices for reading: IT’S REALLY NOT ALL THAT EVIL. (Even if I can’t get over the no-turning-pages factor.)
I do love turning pages… there’s something almost magical about it when you’re sitting with your child and you say, “Turn the page!” It’s just that the ripping of the pages by my 18-month old (who then brings the torn pieces to me like some kind of treasure) is driving me nuts! No ripping with an iPad though. We’ve always been obsessed with stories and books at our house, but I’m finding that my kiddos seem to enjoy stories more when they’re on that tablet. Why?!? Is it because they know I’m so against the concept? I don’t know. So I’m trying to get with the times…
But for some reason I’m having a hard time. (Really, I’m trying.) I prefer books. Can’t help it. Books remind me of my own youth. Books remind me of my mom taking me to the library. Books remind me of my sister and I begging my grandma to read us the same fairytale story in that one thick-bound, hard-cover that she had to tape up over and over again (kinda like how I’m taping up our book of Disney stories these days). Books and I (and, all of us) have memories together… how can I ditch books for electronics? Won’t I be cheating my kids?
Then I thought: Maybe I’m cheating my kids by NOT utilizing literacy tools available on electronics? Instead of watching that silly kiddie music video while we’re waiting in the doc’s office, they can be reading on my iPhone. They can also have a ton of more choices about what to read if I’d take advantage of the digital literary world. So, I figured I should try harder…
Recently I discovered a book available online, written by a real mom, that might slowly be swaying my point of view. The Cosie’s Closet series (available on iBookstore) is adorable for girls (my 3 year old is obsessed with ‘turning’ the brightly-colored ‘pages’ to hear the next rhyming line) and the story and concept was created and written by a mom who simply wanted to accomplish a dream after having babies (her Bachelorette-contestant brother/publisher helped her out). And guess what: it’s pretty much like reading a regular book. I have just as much fun with my girls. Imagine that.
Do you resist using technology to read with your kids? Do you have fave reading apps?