03 Dec, 2019
Growing up in a world without Internet or technology or social media, you can imagine how much change I’ve seen. Life was much different back then. Nothing was immediate. We sent letters in the mail. We called each other on the phone. There was no Face Time or social media to keep tabs on long-lost friends and loved ones.
There were fewer distractions. Less things to take our attention away from what was right in front of us. It forced us to connect with those around us. Relationships felt deeper in certain ways than they do these days.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media and the ability to have instant access to almost anything with the touch of a few cell phone buttons is convenient. Having access to people and information has its perks, for sure. But when I stumbled across this article printed by a website called healthy-holistic-living.com, I had to share parts of it with you.
In addition to it pointing out the damage that “screen addiction” can have on children, it also states the following about playtime.
“Play is essential to optimal child development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”
And my favorite line from the article:
“The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending, and interacting together,” stated Alan Mendelsohn, MD, FAAP, in an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) press release.”
I couldn’t agree with this more. In addition to teaching children important lessons and creating starting points for thought-provoking crafts in Reading Is Fun! Imagine That!, I wrote my book to encourage exactly what’s written above – pretending and interaction.
Aside from art and poetry, and family and friends, I can’t think of a whole lot in life that is more important than these things. My beliefs stem from my childhood, where we played all sorts of games and used our imaginations to pretend we were in different fantasy places, playing the parts of made-up people, having all sorts of adventures. We could be anything our imaginations could come up with, and boy, that was fun!
Furthermore, I found a powerful article at faithit.com titled “The Silent Tragedy Affecting Children Today” that really hit me hard. It states that children who are “being served” with “digitally distracted parents,” as well as “endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments,” are suffering now and will suffer even more later in life.
“Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as…movement and outdoors, emotionally available parents, creative play, social interaction, and opportunities for unstructured times and boredom.”
Books like Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! take care of this problem. They encourage creativity, play time, crafting, and fun (outside of screens!). Next time you’re considering spending quality time with your child, I hope you’ll pick up my book and turn to any page for some old-fashioned, story-poem fun.
Ruth A. Radmore
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