Instilling the reading culture in children

Tobi, aged 6, returns from school, shrugs off his school bag, barely stops to remove his school uniform, reaches for the TV remote, and flops on the rug in front of the TV to watch his favorite cartoon show.

We live in a culture overwhelmed with all manners of electronic gadgets competing for our attention. Our children are worse hit with this deluge of gadgets, compounded by the advent of the recent pandemic, which has necessitated the use of the internet for work and school from home.

While computer and internet games, movies, TV, and musical shows have dominated the minds of our children, the beauty of reading the written text has slid far down the scale of preference for many, adults inclusive.

As parents, we must recognize the need to arrest this decline by embracing the reading culture. We need to halt the tempting habit of handing a device to our babies, toddlers, and young children, which we do in order to distract and prevent them from interfering in our daily routines. When children constantly handle gadgets, it has the negative effect of numbing their minds. This is done to the detriment of developing their intellectual capacity. The long-term effects of this dangerous decline cannot be overstated. We run the danger of raising a generation with a low capacity to pay attention to the written text. That in itself projects a gloomy picture of where our society is headed.

The question is how to balance this act of weaning our children from screen addiction? How can we channel them to imbibing and enjoying the pleasure of reading?

We will be addressing this issue by looking at steps that will engage both the parent and the child in the clarion call in future editions of this post.

About the Author
Anka Amurawaiye is a mother of four with ages ranging from 17 to 30 years. She has been a counsellor to young adults, teenagers and parents in varying capacities in the last three decades. From being a teacher, she has served with passion concerning parenting issues on the boards of NGOs and as chairperson of reputable school PTAs.

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