We have turned into a society dependent upon electronics and electricity to entertain us. This has some drawbacks and some merits. The drawbacks are that our children are less able to entertain themselves. Their play involves gadgets, machines, and players that require batteries and little imagination. The days of creating your own fun by using your imagination and whatever you find lying around the house are over. Also, many of these activities are sedentary which contributes to the rising number of obese children that there are. Some merits are that the devices increase knowledge as well as eye-hand coordination.
I am not a perfect parent. I rely on modern devices to help me with entertaining my children, especially in the car. We ride in the car about four hours a month on the weekends to visit grandparents. My husband and I do not like to listen to the sounds of handheld games, and we refuse to have a car DVD player. We decided that we would use audiobooks for children during a portion of each drive. This would be educational and would allow us to discuss the books after they were done.
When I first talked about doing this my children thought the idea was lame and my husband did not like the idea either. We agreed to try it on the way to grandma’s house one Friday evening. Our daughter was crabby and my husband was tired. I did not want to listen to arguments, so I simply said that we would spend thirty minutes listening to the audiobooks for children. I put the book on turned it to a volume level everyone agreed on and we listened. The story was interesting and the narration was very good. As the half-hour approached the narrator announced that it was the end of a chapter, so I stopped the recording. Both of our children and my husband said that I should leave it on. We ended up listening to the book the entire trip. When we arrived at my mother’s house the children were calm and ready for bed. On Sunday afternoon as we were getting ready to go home my children started their usual routine of complaining about having to leave. When I mentioned that I was anxious to find out how the story we were listening to ended they remembered the audiobook and got in the car.
Since that first time we have used audiobooks for children in most of our travels. It is a shared experience and many of the stories have great messages. Our local library has a nice selection of audiobooks for children as well as adult books. This saves us from having to purchase all the books that we are interested in hearing.