Fintan O’Toole: Don’t buy your children a digital device for Christmas. Read to them

Two-thirds of Irish children are not read to at home. This is not progress

There is nothing in your life so important that you can’t find 15 minutes to read to your child. Photograph: iStock

There is nothing in your life so important that you can’t find 15 minutes to read to your child. Photograph: iStock

During the summer my 20-month-old grandson was in quarantine with us. I was sitting on the sofa, reading on my laptop. He toddled over and, in an imperious gesture, closed the screen with one hand, while presenting me with a book to read to him with the other. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so delighted by one silent movement. I knew that boy was going to be just fine.

I’m also not sure I’ve ever felt more melancholic, while reading a report on a non-catastrophic subject, than I did last week, as I was going through the excellent Children’s School Lives Study.  

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