Reading is a basic thing for most humans. It stimulates the mind, it makes us learn, makes us think and let’s us travel to fantasy worlds when the real world is just a little too overwhelming. This goes for adults and children alike.
But what makes reading so special to a child?
There are so many advantages to reading for your children, some you may not have even been aware of. Let’s start with the most common reason :
A Bonding Experience.
Children grow up so fast. They’ll cling to you one moment and the next they want nothing to do with you. It’s nice to set aside that time every night for the both of you to come together for a story, either the parent reads or the child. Both can be equally fun and entertaining. Besides the bonding experience for the child, it also gives you some one on one time (which is great if you have other children) where you can talk to them about their day and find out how they are feeling.
Kids pick up on what us parents/caregivers like and don’t like. It’s a sure bet that they will mimic and try to imitate us as much as possible. If we show a disdain for reading, they will also. Which could turn around and negatively affect them in schooling. When kids learn to enjoy reading at an early age, they will continue to enjoy it growing up. They may grow out of it or be “too cool”, but their academics will show differently.
Books are a perfect way to teach a child. If they are still young, go for picture books. Show them objects they may not normally see and then explain to them what it is and what it’s used for. Their little minds are like sponges. You’d be surprised what they will remember with just seeing/hearing something once.
Exploring The World.
Children can learn from books what they are missing in their own lives. If they live in a community of one race, one type of person; they’ll never know what exists beyond their own front yard. Introducing them to a variety of books will show them that there are many families, people, places and things that are not the same as what they know. And then as they get older, they will be able to accept the difference as it comes to them. Instead of being thrown off.
This is a personal tip that I have found works with my son. He is 18 months old and we read to him daily. We will read the same book 7 times in a row if that’s what makes him happy. But what we found is, his speech has improved SO much since we started reading. We read the same books so often that he is starting to know what objects and words are. Children will pick up on what you teach them. If you read with them instead of to them, they will learn what you are saying and be able to repeat it for themselves.
And lastly, Reading Is Fun.
You never want to make a child sit down and read a book. Their love it will end very quickly. But if you introduce them early on and continue throughout their childhood, chances are they will love it on their own. As long as it’s never forced or made to seem bad, they’ll stick with it.
There are so many benefits to reading to your child, starting from birth. Much more than what I just listed. If you can’t afford a book, then go to the library and get yourself and your child (most libraries don’t have age requirements) a card to start checking out books. They are never too young to love the library!