Does Story Time with Your Child Include Your iPad?

In a recent article published by the New York Times, author, Douglas Quenqua brings up an interesting debate that parents, pediatricians and researchers are all struggling with…Is reading a story to your child from your digital device considered to be story time or screen time?

The reason this question is so difficult to answer is because any child development expert will tell you that reading to your child is highly encouraged, but allowing your child to use a digital device is highly discouraged. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2, and less than two hours a day for older children. But in our technology-driven world, when even children books and learning games are being migrated to digital media, what is a parent to do?

Kyle Snow, a research director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, stated, “We know how children learn to read, but we do not know how that process will be affected by digital technology.” The unknown is mainly due to the newness of it all; devices like tablets and e-readers have simply not been around long enough to obtain true data on the effects they may have on learning.

However, new studies have reported that reading to a child from an electronic device can undercut the dynamic that drives language development. Pediatrician, Dr. Pamela High, stated, “There’s a lot of interaction when you’re reading a book with your child. Turning pages, pointing at pictures, and talking about the story are all things that can get lost when you’re using an e-book.”

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