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The Four

Positive Parenting: E-Books

About 25 percent of all American families own e-readers, and 75 percent have electronic tablets that can download books and magazines.

Now, some are questioning if e-books are the best way for children to learn how to read.

Doctor Tiffany Munzer and her colleagues studied a group of two year olds and their parents to learn more about their interactions during print and e-book reading.

“We think that toddlers are a really important age group to consider just because of their burgeoning executive functioning skills or burgeoning attentional capacity, which might make them more susceptible to some of the distracting enhancements that are found in electronic books”, said Doctor Munzer.

The researchers found with e-books, families conversed less and focused more on the technology.

The researchers said with print books, parents made more connections between the book and real life.

Doctor Munzer says previous research involved preschool-aged children suggested that print books provided more of what’s called dialogic reading than e-books.

The new research indicates the effect is the same with even younger children.

However, Doctor Munzer says if parents choose to use e-books with young children, parents can treat the tablet like a print book and ask kids questions about the story to build early literacy skills.

For more on this topic, watch the video above.