The magical, never-ending, old school joy of books
We love books - always have, always will. From the magic of a childhood picture book to the fascination of a good novel, books are an integral part of our lives, education and imagination. They’re the perfect escape, an excellent gift and a key part of our intellectual and emotional growth. A book is a window into another world and an amazing way for family members to connect. After all, what is bedtime without a good story?
And then there’s TV, smartphone apps, videogames and iPads...mom (or dad) guilt...and real life.
Parents take a lot of heat for screen time. Kids often get too much of it, whether it’s cartoons or time on the iPad. But here’s the thing - you can’t fault a tired mom or dad for needing a little break. Maybe you need to cook dinner so you flip on the TV to keep your kids out of your hair for half an hour, or you’re just plain exhausted and need a break. WE GET IT. We’ve been there, and we’ve done it too (most days, actually).
But there is something to be said of balance. An excess of recreational screen time (defined as more than two hours a day for kids) has been linked to poorer cognitive development. The Canadian Pediatric Society reports that 85% of Canadian kids are taking in more screen-based media than recommended, and the majority of U.S. infants aged 6 months to one year in age use a touch screen device EVERY DAY.( No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of kids glued to screens.
We don’t want to get rid of televisions and smartphones. We don’t want to judge parents or shame anyone. The Friendly Fables team watches as much Paw Patrol as the next family, to be honest. Still, we try to achieve that balance wherein parents get a little iPad babysitting break without overdoing it. We watch a little Disney+ or Wild Kratts on the iPad and make sure Chase is still on the case, but then we put it away and get back to the really good stuff: a colourful, engaging, timeless children’s book. It’s the same sort of timeless, ageless joy that comes from fort building and Lego and jumping on a bouncy castle and kicking a soccer ball and all the other things we love from our childhood.
Remember the magic of books, celebrate them in any way you can. Tech is dated the day after you buy it, but books just get better with age.