From an early age, a child’s brain needs stimulation. There are two primary kinds of stimuli; the interactive kind that includes talking to child, reading to the child and playing with a child and the passively engaged kind which includes leaving a child unattended in front of a television or media device to watch cartoons, videos or to play games.
By reading to a child, the child can benefit from being stimulated mentally and will often learn the language quicker, will be more fluent and have less problems in communicating with people of different age groups.
These benefits translate into essentially boosting the child’s readiness for school.
Other benefits of reading to children include:
- Improving vocabulary
- Learning sentence structure
- Improving concentration
- Stimulating creativity
Reading aloud to children can also teach children some necessary critical thinking skills and help the child to understand reality much better. Reading stories to your child allows the child to gain a much more expanded frame of reference and an improved sense of connection to the real world. It also gives your child a better understanding of cause and effect; an essential skill needed for writing essays in future.
Successful early school life
According to some studies, children who grow up with access to lots of books tend to be smarter in school. Book learning is important from an early age. Studies also show that children that do well in academic studies were first exposed to reading usually before preschool.
In fact, it is possible to boost a child’s IQ by 6 points just by reading to the child in her/her early years.
Reading a book aloud to a child helps the child to also learn basic concepts such how to represent sounds, read from left to right, etc. This helps in their school life as getting a grasp on basic concepts is an important thing and is something most education systems rely on.
A healthier & fonder relationship
Reading to your child makes your bond with them stronger, by creating a sense of intimacy, well-being and emotional comfort that makes the child feel closer to you. The sense of emotional protection and feeling of being loved is important for it to grow smarter.
Just like bad experiences make us avoid certain things in life, good experiences help do the opposite. If the child has that safe and intimate feeling regarding reading, they are likely to develop positive feelings and adopt reading for leisure as a hobby later on.
Coping mechanism for the child
One of the positive effects of reading stories to your child are improving the child’s understanding of emotional concepts and the ways to cope with them. For instance, a fairy tale where there are a lot of emotional twists and turns will introduce to the child different emotions, and help them learn to cope with them as well, in a safe and made up environment. It also helps them to understand new experiences and even stressful situations. This emotional preparation is ideal as they will be better able to cope with emotions much better, whether it is starting the first day of school or their hamster dying.
Reading is also a great way of calming your child down, especially if he/she is restless; it could be a positive thing if he finds comfort in reading!
Reading to your child can also help him/her understand his/her situations growing up as it helps him/her calm down and relate to other situations which match his/her own. If your child is stressed out on the first day of school or after moving to a new location, his/her experience can be made much less painful just by reading to him/her.
A few more facts about reading
- Reading is a great way of bonding together, if a family reads for 20 minutes a day every day for a year, they get over 121 hours of bonding time and collective learning as well.
- It is estimated that for every year a parent reads with and to their child, an average of $50,000 lifetime earning is increased. So, just reading to your child for 20 minutes every day until age 4 means a hypothetical $200,000 gift in the future.
- Children are more prone of dropping out of academic learning at schools if they do not develop basic literacy skills at an early age.
Books can teach your child about situations, personalities, relationships, the difference between good and bad, about the world he/she lives in, provide material for imagination, and help him/her discern between what is real and what is imaginary.
How often should you read to your child?
A commonly used time period for reading to children is 20 minutes a day. In the beginning, reading to your child for longer can make it feel like a chore instead of something stimulating and fun.
Depending on your child, you could of course read as many times a day as he/she wants. If he/she shows actual interest in the books and wants to finish them, or is asking you repeatedly to read, then reading to him/her for as long as he/she wants is a good step.
Good books are not only healthy for your child’s mental growth and academic learning, but they are a great means of encouraging emotional development, which is something videos cannot properly provide.
Even the little things count. 20 minutes from your daily routine may not be much but for your child, it may be the cause of something phenomenal in future. Mental and emotional growth will be enabled by reading and his/her academic abilities will also be improved by quite a bit.
It is a healthy activity which truly has no superior alternatives.
Brought to you by the KidsEnglishCollege™ Editorial Team.
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