Bedtime stories are traditional and expected. Most people say that they do read to their kids nightly or at least as often as possible when schedules allow. There is a lot of emphasis put on reading to your children in order for them to do better in school, but how must does reading to your lids really matter. Let’s find out.
Reasons to Read to Your Child
- winding down to get ready to sleep
- spending quality time with a parent or caregiver
- learn the intricacies of oral language
- increase their vocabulary
- identify patterns in grammar
- spark their imagination
Complex Topics and Safe Conversations
As well as the reasons listed above, reading to your child can also help them deal with complex issues if you pick stories that can spark conversations about topics such as divorce, death of a pet, stranger danger, bullying and more. Spending time reading to your child also gives them access to your attention, validates their being able to trust you and reinforces your relationship with each other. This gives them the opportunity to use this time to bring up things that they want to talk about.
Reduction of Stress
Science has proven that reading for children and adults alike is a tremendous stress reliever. It can relieve stress with an effectiveness of up to 68%. Researchers say that “Reading is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.” When you read to your child, they get engrossed in the stories as well and can experience the benefits of stress relief too. (Give your kids access to stories that will carry them away into wonderful, magical places to distract them from the here and now.)
Growing as a Human Being
Reading many different types of stories with vastly different situations and characters gives your child the opportunity to safely identify with the people in the stories. Kids are able to imagine themselves in places and situations that they may never have otherwise known. It gives them new ways of thinking, new options in handling life and gives them real skill sets that they can practice in the real world. (So give kids stories and characters that are worth looking up to and who have strong values.)
Comprehension is a Huge Takeaway
Children have a lot to learn at a skyrocketing rate in their first 6 years of life. If they have been read to over and over they are at a major advantage over children who have not. One of the massive takeaways of being read to as young children is comprehension. This matters when kids are in situations where they might be at a disadvantage if they don’t understand what is going on around them, what to expect or what they are required to do. Comprehension also matters when kids begin to read. They can learn to combine letter sound to make words, but if the word is unfamiliar then they won’t get it right. And when they are sounding out many words to make a sentence (or a complete thought) and they don’t know that words, they will have no comprehension to provide meaning to any of it. But, children who have been read to over their formative years will quickly recognize the words that they know from their stories when working to put sounds together. As well, test taking is about comprehending the meaning of words and the meanings of the answers in order to make the best judgement about the correlation between the two. A child who has had the benefit of being read to from many genres, grade levels and topics, has the best chance at comprehending what is going on in the world around them and in their academics.
Reading is so beneficial that this article could be twice as long with twice as many reasons. I am adding some of my most recommended articles related to this one at the end of this one and I hope you get a chance to read them! Find some books and some time and make the commitment to read to your children each night. Any books are great. Choose some silly kids books and then some popular literature. Next try a historical novel or a mystery for children and then a joke book if you wish. Your children of all ages will have things to say that can turn into important conversations that everyone can participate in at their own level. These times are good for bonding, learning and feeling loved. Go read a book with your child right now!
Articles I recommend for more information on why you should read to your children:
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