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  • Kids Are Reading Less? No Wonder Cheska Kramer Is So Proud Of Scarlett's New Reading Habits

    “Yesterday she told me, Mama I won’t look at my phone and iPad as much anymore. I’ll focus on reading more books this time around."
    by Ronna Capili Bonifacio .
Kids Are Reading Less? No Wonder Cheska Kramer Is So Proud Of Scarlett's New Reading Habits
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM /CHEKAKRAMER AND SCARLETTKRAMER
  • Cheska Garcia-Kramer caught a candid moment of her second daughter, Scarlett, passed out on the couch with a book in hand. It’s must have been such a precious moment to behold that mom Cheska could not help but share on her Instagram stories a little context.

    “Baby Louvie is tired from her long day. She had taekwondo and homeschool. So happy that instead of looking at her phone she decided to pick up a book instead,” says Cheska in her first story post.

    “Yesterday she told me, Mama I won’t look at my phone and iPad as much anymore. I’ll focus on reading more books this time around.

    It looks like Scarlett is reading the famous young adult novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. By Judy Blume.

    On Cheska’s second story post with the same photo she writes, “I was so happy to hear that from her. I didn’t force her to make that commitment. I wanted that realization to come from her.

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    “Although I would remind her every now and then to use her time better and wisely.  To find more things to do in real time than wasting away her time with just watching videos.

    PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM /CHEKAKRAMER

    Nothing wrong with social media

    Does that advise sound funny coming from a family whose fan base was built through social media? Cheska shares some of her thoughts on the online world in the same story.

    “Nothing wrong with that naman cause I also enjoy my time online but always in moderation. What I like about Louvie is when she says something she means it and keeps her word.

    RELATED: Luto, Linis, at Turo: The Kramer Kids Are Great At Household Chores

    Those two stories were all Cheska shared recently about her kids’ reading habits. And it’s quite timely with the recent release of cybersecurity solution and services brand Kaspersky’s report.

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    Which apps are Filipino kids using most?

    Filipino kids spend most of their time on the following apps: YouTube (26.46%), TikTok (16.75%), Messaging apps/Facebook Messenger (16.07%), Multi-platform online game, Roblox (13.67%), and social media platform Facebook, (9.11%).

    Yes parents, data shows that it’s true what the kids say. “Facebook is for old people”, seeing that it’s only ranked five in Filipino kids’ mobile app usage.

    Interestingly, US-based Education Week released an article in March 28, 2022 entitled ‘The Real Reasons Kids Aren’t Reading More’ by Alyson Klein which reports that between 2019-2021, social media use for kids aged 8-12 and 13-18 years old increased by 17%.

    Kids are online for almost an entire workday

    What does this mean? Common Sense Media’s survey results as quoted by the article has found that American tweens spend five and a half hours on social media per day and over eight and a half hours a day for teens.

    That’s practically half a workday, for tweens, or an entire workday, for teens!

    While the survey’s respondents are American kids, an interesting observation could perhaps be seen in the Philippine context as well.

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    “Kids from low-income families entertain themselves using social media and other online content more than those from higher-income families.”

    Similar apps are preferred by US respondents: YouTube first, and then Snapchat, and Instagram or TikTok.

    3 tips to encourage your kids to read more

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    Perhaps those statistics and information only confirmed something you already knew. There are many things competing for a child’s attention today, social media being a large contributor, which may be why kids in general are reading less.

    Here’s what we can do as parents to encourage kids to read more.

    1. Don’t make reading work or a chore.

    One of the mistakes parents make is incentivizing reading. That sounds like “If you read for 30 minutes, you can spend time on the iPad”. 

    Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, authors of How to Raise a Reader says to New York Times, “Treat reading as its own reward–a privilege, even. Nobody earns candy for eating cookies.”

    RELATED: 13+ Tips to Make Sure You're Supporting Your Child's Reading Skills Wherever You Are

    What you may want to do instead is to extend their bedtime by thirty minutes if they will spend it reading in bed. This is especially good for early readers who will associate reading with maturity, since reading before bed is a grown-up pastime.

    2. Don’t stress about the format and make room for comics and manga.

    Paul and Russo says this applies to kids who have been labeled as a “reluctant reader”, a term they discourage parents from using on their own kids. 

    Just because it’s a more visual book does not mean your child is not reading. Some of today’s more popular visual books “were written specifically to help ‘reluctant readers’ and children with challenges like dyslexia,” Paul and Russo say.

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    RELATED: Real Moms Share How They Establish a Reading Routine on a Super Busy Schedule

    “Graphic novels for young readers, meanwhile, have been steadily improving in literary quality, often winning prestigious awards and appearing on best-of-the-year book lists.

    The authors say many children start their love of reading through a love for comics.

    3. Model a love for reading.

    Like everything in parenting, the secret that unlocks the results we desire is the hardest one to follow. If you want to raise a reader, be a reader says the authors.

    Paul and Russo writes, “These precious years when your child is living at home, observing your approach to life, are a great time to nurture your own reading habits.”

    Remember that a parent’s goal is to foster a love for reading, not to hit literacy targets.

    What other parents are reading

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