Reading is fundamental for being able to understand and enjoy the world. It’s an extremely important part of child development, and all parents should consider it their mission to help their child, through reading with them. These are 10 reasons why you and your child should be reading together.
1. Increased Brainpower
Having access to more information strengthens your mind. Your child will be able to find answers and pique their natural sense of wonder through reading. Although reading can be a very pleasurable activity, it can’t be done completely passively. Help with your children’s thinking by asking them what they think unfamiliar words mean and let them try to pronounce them. You’ll get to really see the gears of their brain in motion, and you can feel so proud of them for how hard they’re trying.
2. Bonding Opportunities
Being a parent is about finding opportunities to bond with your children, and these are ones you should find and hold onto. Reading is a great activity, because it lets you both focus on and talk about something. This might be your first chance to have a real heart-to-heart with your child, so don’t let yourself take it for granted. As they grow up, it’ll be easier to talk about difficult subjects because you’ve laid down such a good foundation for them, with all the shared reading experiences you’ve had.
3. Increased Vocabulary
Reading lets your child discover and understand words that many of their peers might not know. We’re not talking about profanity either. There can be words hidden in the cracks of many children’s books that your children can learn and understand if they’re presented with them. You could find yourself taken aback by how your child starts incorporating words well above their age’s reading level.
4. Better Attention
Getting kids to focus is difficult, but it’s not impossible. You just need to find ways to help work within their attention span limits. Reading can help a lot. Don’t try and go through “War and Peace” with your five-year-old child. See how long they can focus at any given time and read for that long, gradually increasing the length by a couple of minutes per session.
5. Better School Performance
Being a strong reader will give your child a great advantage in the classroom. They will be able to better recognize words and have stronger comprehension abilities. Before school starts, talk to your child about how they might be ahead of many of their classmates in terms of reading abilities, but they shouldn’t use this as a way to try and act superior to them.
6. Greater Awareness of the World
A great way to teach your child about the world around them is through reading. With picture books especially, they can visualize places and things they’ve never thought of before. Books can help your child feel like they’re traveling, even if they’re not going any further than their bedroom.
7. Helps Them Care About Others
An involving story tickles our sense of compassion because we want the characters we like to get out of things okay. While books aimed at children have happy endings, they also have age-appropriate levels of conflict and tension for creating uncertainty and suspense. They can also learn to care about people who are different from them, such as people of different races. These empathy skills can help them to be kinder individuals.
8. Teaches Them to Love Reading
It can seem like stating the obvious, but reading with your child can help them develop an inherent love for reading that sticks with them for life. Many people, especially adults, view reading as tedious and unpleasant. The joys of literacy are known to any avid reader, and they can be discovered at a young age.
9. Gives Them More Imagination
Children don’t develop imaginations in a vacuum. They need to learn about new concepts to nurture their minds and creativity. Your child might also be inspired to start telling and writing their own stories. Help them with these by giving them ideas for how their stories can develop without putting too much of your influence into them.
10. Better Problem-Solving Abiltiies
All stories are meant to offer problems and solutions. When reading with your children, you can discuss what problem the characters are facing and talk about the possible solutions. Ask them why they think one solution would be better than another. This can really help them think about what makes something work, as well as what some of the possible downsides could be.
The effects of reading with your child can be recognized when you see just how much their minds grow and how much better they perform academically. It’s also a huge pleasure and a great bonding experience. Work on a reading program that you and your child will both love.