This week Annie was lucky enough to be sent a book from The Works who are looking to promote the benefits of reading over watching screens. Annie is a proper little bookworm already (just like her Mum) so we jumped at the opportunity to take part in the programme.
I am quite strict when it comes to the amount of screen time the kiddos are allowed each day. They don’t watch regular TV but do get to watch a movie (or equivalent length of TV episodes) in the afternoon most days. Also we’re picky about the things they get to choose from and we only have the one TV in the house. Both Annie and Ezra have a large collection of books and we’re keen for them to develop a love of reading as soon as possible, both on their own and being read to.
The book we were sent was Disney 365 Stories for Girls and it was perfect for the kiddo. Annie spent most of the morning flicking through the book by herself, pointing out the stories she was most excited to read, showing me the characters she recognised and asking who the others were.
After lunch she asked to sit down together and read some stories and I was more than happy to. We curled up on the chair and read the stories for the days we’d missed in early January. Annie is at that
tricky fab stage where she is essentially one huge question, at the end of each short story she would bust out a long list of questions she had thought up and then we would go through and try to answer them all.
Annie loved sitting down and reading together, reading is fab at encouraging questions and promoting conversations. I find that Annie asks far fewer questions about films because she doesn’t want to interrupt the movie and has forgotten what she wanted to know by the end of the film.
Also there’s something magic about snuggling up with one of the littles and reading to them, it’s something that we do together, rather than separately-but-side-by-side like when we watch a film. It’s great to be close, have a cuddle, and after the stories (and all the story related questions!) are finished, I find that Annie is far more comfortable to talk about anything that’s on her mind or is worrying her.
There have been lots of news stories about limiting the amount of screen time you let your children have and it all makes sense to me as a Mum. It’s far too easy to sit down and turn on the telly rather then get up and do something energetic or read a book. It’s especially important to me with my depression, I lost too many hours as a student sat in front of the telly because it was a quick pick me up or an easy way to hide from my problems or coursework.
I think it’s good for kids to watch telly, in moderation, and I accept that what I find works for our family wouldn’t work for everyone else. I don’t want to ban TV in our house, just make sure it’s balanced out with plenty of reading and playing.
Disclosure: I was sent the book for the purpose of taking part in this programme. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own. No monetary compensation was given.>
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