Audio books provide a multi-faceted experience and are not straining on your children’s eyes. As a parent, you probably want to instill a love for reading in your child from a young age. Yet you might not have the physical space nor budget to constantly purchase hardcopy versions of books for your child. Alternatively, libraries might not necessarily have the book your child would like to read as well.
The next solution would be getting your child to read electronic books on a digital device such as a tablet or computer screen. Electronic books may be more convenient but they may put strain on your child’s eyes as these digital devices emit blue light that reaches his or her retina and adversely impacts light sensitive cells there.
Well, then, listening to audiobooks could be the way for your child to enjoy a story without straining their eyes.
Here are reasons why audiobooks are great for kids and why your child should listen to them.
In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of 9 participants while they read and listened to books. These researchers concluded that the stories, regardless of their medium, stimulated the same emotional and cognitive areas of participants’ brains.
Your child might already be using the screen for considerable amounts of time already, especially with all the home-based and distance learning school activities during COVID-19 lockdown periods. Should he or she have to spend extra time in front of the screen during recreational reading, he or she would be at a higher risk of eye strain and eye diseases. Such a risk is backed up by research that showed the relation between excessive screen use and eye diseases like glaucoma.
As your child would rely on his or her ears to understand and enjoy the narrative from audiobooks, eye strain would be reduced. Digital screens emit blue light that disrupts our circadian rhythm and production of melatonin, the latter being the hormone that helps us to fall asleep. Hence if your child spends some time reading electronic books on screens before bedtime, he or she could face trouble falling asleep because of the exposure to blue light.
Listening to an audiobook would enable your child’s mind and eyes to destress and calm down before a peaceful night’s sleep. Being read to, especially by an engaging narrator or storyteller, is a therapeutic experience. Lisa Artis, an advisor hailing from The Sleep Council, reinforces that ensuring adequate time to relax and listening to an audiobook is crucial to “wind down before bedtime”. For the super-stressed, the narrative in audiobooks can help slow their thoughts down to enable them to relax.
The Audio Publishers Association states that audiobooks function as educational tools enhancing literacy skills like pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary and language acquisition. Furthermore, audiobooks encourage parents like yourselves to listen to stories together with your child. Consequently, audiobooks provide a platform for parent-child interaction, by kick starting conversations about themes, titles and characters of the story at hand.
Audio books with wholesome content should be embraced in your home as you encourage your child to read and improve literacy skills. Besides, as established above, audiobooks provide a launchpad for increased parent-child bonding as listening to stories can facilitate more conversations between you and your child. What is more, audiobooks could be stepping stones to fostering your child’s love of reading and a gradual appreciation of the stories that make our world go round. Whether your child is already an ardent reader or just starting out, audiobooks would have something to offer.
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