11 compelling reasons why you would read to children every day

11 compelling reasons why you would read to children every day

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.“   Dr Seuss

Children who read for pleasure do better in a wide range of subjects at school and it also positively impacts children’s wellbeing.

Reading to children builds their self-esteem, vocabulary, imagination, sense of relaxation, happiness and fun. It also improves their sleeping patterns and provides comfort and reassurance. Giving a child time and your full attention when reading them a story fosters a sense of importance and recognition. 

The best gift you can give your child is to start reading to them from a young age, long before they are able to understand or read the words themselves.

Research from the Ohio State University showed that children who are read to in the first five years of life have a 1.4 million word advantage over children who are not read to at home. That’s astounding.

Regularly reading to a child for the love of it, provides a connection between parent and child from the very early days and helps build strong family ties. Families who enjoy reading together have more opportunities for discussion, developing empathy and attachment. 

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One of the powerful outcomes of reading to their children is parents’ realisation that sharing a story is a deep joy for them as much as for the child. Storytime should not be a  chore in a busy day but an opportunity to share an activity that brings pleasure and a wealth of associated benefits.

The earlier parents develop a reading habit the better, as it allows the maximum time to develop and the love of reading to take root, grow and become part of their life. A habit which will enrich their life.

The benefits of reading to your child are boundless:

1. Vocabulary

Children who are read to have significantly larger and more developed vocabularies than other children. This puts them at a huge advantage intellectually and will help them cope better at school.

2. Improves Grammer

When you read to your children, they will hear good language structures and grammar usage and will often mimic these.

Years of reading give them a vocabulary from which they are able to recognize parts of speech and other elements of language.

3. Analytic skills

While children are reading or listening to stories, they are thinking. It is the perfect time to ask them questions and develop their critical thinking skills.

For a few minutes every day, while you listen to your child read aloud or when you read a story to them, ask different types of questions about the story. Ask them to predict, analyse, give opinions and suggest solutions to problems. These questions can turn an otherwise passive activity into an engaging one with much value.

Ask your children to provide solutions to a character’s problems before reading the end of the story, and you will be stimulating their ability to come up with their own ideas. Analyse decisions that are taken by characters and see if your child agrees or has alternative endings to a story.

4Writing skills

Reading improves language skills, which in turn improves writing skills.

Not only will your child understand correct sentence structure and be able to use parts of speech correctly, but their increase in vocabulary will help them write creatively.

Reading stimulates the imagination. Your child’s writing will come alive when that imagination comes up in their stories.

5. Bonding time

Children’s natural curiosity causes them to become little explorers, constantly searching for something new. Cuddling up with a storybook at bedtime or a set time in the day provides routine and stability, essential for children as they learn best through gentle repetition. This is where reading becomes a nurturing activity between the parent and child, instead of a task or chore. Ultimately, story time will bring the two of you closer together.

The time you spend together is precious.

6. Concentration and Discipline

Children seem to have an endless supply of energy. Kids may initially fidget and become distracted during story time but eventually, they’ll learn to settle for the duration of the story. Routine reading at bedtime or allocated reading time teaches your child self-discipline and provides stability through achievable routines. Longer attention spans and better memory retention are key to your child, just before or during bedtime, allowing for a cosy and concrete sleeping pattern.

They need to be active in the process to benefit from the story. It is not fed to them while they stare passively for example when watching TV. Unlike watching screens, which negatively affects the brain, reading stimulates real focus. Children have to actually listen, read and think about what they are reading or hearing

Following a storyline when reading involves using memory. The more children use their memory, the stronger this skill becomes.

7. Love of Reading

One of the great benefits of reading together every day is that you are forming a habit – a healthy habit – from a very young age. Children who are surrounded by books grow into adults who read. Quite simply, reading to your children and surrounding them with books will develop a lifelong love of reading.

Reading will become a part of who they are and a routine activity that they look forward to every day. Long after finishing school, your child will continue to learn, whether for business, pleasure or research, through books and online reading.

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8. Relationship Skills

The ability to listen is one of the most vital skills for success at school. Unfortunately, it is also a skill many children struggle with.

When you read to a child, they are actively listening for details. Doing this for a few minutes every day will have a massive impact on their overall listening ability and enhance communication with others.

Reading teaches children about life and how situations are dealt with. Children can learn about relationships, friendships, family and life’s everyday occurrences and understand how these are dealt with.

Helping your child find similarities or explaining differences to them while reading helps them relate to others in a healthy way. By exploring different cultures and nationalities through a range of stories gives your child a better understanding to communicate with people and build better relationships.

9. Strengthens the Brain

Listening actively to a story strengthens brain connections as well as builds new connections.

Reading to young children is proven to improve thinking skills and help along the process of cognitive development.  They learn how a person perceives and thinks about his or her world through areas such as information processing, intelligence, reasoning, language development, attention span, and memory.

10. Relaxation

Reading is a calming activity and one that many adults engage in for relaxation. Some do it for stimulation and to learn, others just to relax and escape.

While using devices and watching screens before bed has been proven to negatively affect sleep, reading a book does the opposite. It calms the mind and is a healthy bedtime habit.

After a busy, active day, children will look forward to listening to a bedtime story that will aid good sleep.

11. Imagination

In the world of children’s fictional imaginative stories, anything can be possible. 

These are great for developing your child’s imagination and creativity which are necessary qualities for today’s children living in a fast paced and digitally oriented world. 

In order to keep up with the constantly changing world, children need to be quick thinkers, problem solvers and be able to imagine and create things that don’t yet seem possible.

Summary

There are so many benefits to reading with your child. If you make it a priority and find the time to do it every day, you’ll be giving your children so many experiences and wonderful memories to look back on. 

Parents have many conflicting demands and it is understandable that reading to their child can be overlooked as ‘another thing to do’ I hope after having read this article that you will prioritise this activity with your child. Not only will it enhance your child’s confidence, academic and empathic skills, it will also provide bonding and relaxation time for you too.

So, pick up that book, get comfortable and cosy with your child and enjoy this precious time together.

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Hansa Pankhania is a published author of 10 Wellbeing books for adults and children available on Amazon or through her website. 

In her books, she is passionate about sharing natural wellbeing techniques which do not cost anything but nourish your body, mind, and soul in powerful ways.

She and her team offer Coaching and Training on Wellbeing, Stress Prevention, Resilience Building and related topics to Individuals and Managers.

She has a national and international team of affiliates who are committed to promoting individual wellbeing as well as develop mindful, compassionate, thriving workplace cultures.

Visit-www.aumconsultancy.co.uk

Text- +449(0)7888747438

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