Raising Ravenous Readers – The Exponential Grandparent Factor

It’s a complicated world today. So many distractions with technology. Parents overwhelmingly busy with work, home, children’s activities, and parenting demands. Kids bombarded with television, computers, and notifications continuously pinging from phones rarely more than an arm’s length away. It should come as no surprise that the number of children reading for pleasure is seriously declining.

According to the PEW Research Center, the percentage of U.S. children who read for fun, measured in groups of 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds, by race and ethnicity, has declined roughly 8-12% in all groups between 2012 and 2020.

But is it really because they’re not interested in books? I don’t think so!

Have you ever watched a young child receive a new book? Pure joy. Or given the opportunity to hear a new story? Breathless excitement.

So, what is happening to cause this decline in children choosing to read for fun?  I don’t believe there is one culprit, but rather a perfect storm of distractions.

Activities, whether it’s sports or dance, cheer or band, are demanding. It’s not something kids do just once or twice a week. And for those who have more than one activity, it’s like juggling multiple jobs, all competing for their focus, time, and energy.  And if you didn’t start at age three, well…

Video games, TikTok reels, Snapchat, Instagram, and options I’m sure I don’t even know about yet, all battle for their attention 24 hours a day.

Adults who set the example are just as distracted, constantly on their phones and reading less and less.

Clearly, as children grow the distractions grow, making it more important today than ever to Instill a love for reading early on. 

Good news! Busy parents don’t have to be alone in achieving this goal.  Grandparents can make a HUGE impact!  

Think about it. Children don’t feel pressure from grandparents the way they do from their parents. Grandparents are more fun, right? So, it’s easier for kids to perceive an activity like reading as enjoyable when the suggestion is coming from Grandma or Grandpa.

Grandparents also have more time. They’re typically not as rushed, so are able to make reading a fun, stimulating, memorable experience. And there is a priceless bonus: the quality time this affords not only children, but grandparents as well, making everyone feel fulfilled and loved.

If you don’t live close by, here is where technology becomes an advantage, providing ways to easily connect on a regular basis. One on one chats, tea parties, games and storytimes are not a problem. We’re only held back by our imaginations!

Think books are no big deal for kids today? Think again! And think how you can continue the excitement they experience through books at age two and three, to age nine and ten, and beyond.  Share a story and make a lasting, lifelong impact on your little ones!

Looking for ideas? Download a free copy of my 15 Easy, Actionable Ideas to Help Raise Ravenous Readers!

Empower a child. Share a story!

Tale Wagger Stories’ Rascally Pup books, from author Tammy H. Kersey, are rhyming children’s picture books, ideal for ages 4 to 8. Devoted to encouraging active storytimes and language curiosity, each story incorporates an element to naturally encourage activity, or lots of questions. The action is centered around a lively pup who is learning something new in each story. Kids can relate because he is learning through everyday experiences, just like they do!

You can find us at https://TaleWaggerStories.com, or on Facebook and Instagram  @TaleWaggerStories.


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