Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Put Aside Electronics and Read, Experts Say

Sarah Horrigan

Catholic Education Daily - published on 02/11/14

Human formation suffers without reading.

Reading has been increasingly replaced by electronics and endless activities in recent years, but parents should not give in, according to an article by John Burger at Fathers for Good, an initiative for men by the Knights of Columbus. 

Three experts—Joseph Pearce, Dana Gioia and Peter Kleponis—agreed that parents should be more active in getting their children to read.  If not, there will be sad consequences.

Human formation suffers without reading, said Pearce, writer-in-residence and visiting fellow at Newman Guide recommended Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.  He told Burger:

“Reading helps stretch our imaginations, which itself is very important”… It also expands vocabulary, allowing a person to communicate “far better, not only in childhood but throughout the rest of their lives.”

“We write as well as we read; we think as well as we read; we speak as well as we read. Our thoughts are in words… If you have a limited vocabulary, our very ability to think is hampered.”

The average American watches “14 hours a day of screens,” according to the article, and so electronics are a big part of the reason why reading is forgotten.

Unfortunately, people aren’t reading “traditional texts” during their many hours watching screens, said Dana Gioia, a Catholic poet, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and professor at the University of Southern California. Instead, Gioia told Fathers for Good, “They’re looking at films and videos, and when they’re reading, what they’re reading are photo captions.”

The Common Core State Standards might be another negative influence on the type of reading done by children.  Many have argued that the Common Core emphasizes informational texts that teach students how to absorb facts over traditional texts that foster human growth and development.

Peter Kleponis, a psychologist at the Institute for Marital Healing, sees that families are suffering because they are not spending time together.  He asks families how often they read books together and if they spend time at the library.

Fathers for Good reported Gioia’s solution for parents:

"So what parents should do when [their children are] younger is read to them so they get used to hearing words, rather than just watching television. And then as the kids get old enough that they don’t want to be read to anymore, have them read. Take the iPad away. Turn the TV off. Turn the computer off. Be confident that as a parent you know some things better than the kids do, no matter what the kids tell you."

Courtesy Catholic Education Daily of the Cardinal Newman Society


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.