Reading to Your Child – A Gift Like No Other!

12 Sep

Parents have the best opportunity to bolster a child’s learning ability when they make reading books a primary activity in a youngster’s life. The gift of sharing the written word will not only create cherished memories you will recall later on, but will also prepare your child for the life ahead of them. During the toddler, preschool and early elementary years, promoting reading as an enjoyable experience will result in advantages that will help your child succeed in life later on. Aside from altering the staggering illiteracy rates, the benefits of fostering a love of reading include:

Fun, Fun and more Fun. Most children learn quickly the difference between work and play. They recognize the distinct differences between a chore or burden and a pleasurable activity. When you begin reading to your child at a very early age as a pleasant activity you both can share, the child will associate reading with something fun, versus a task. As the child grows, reading as a pleasurable pastime will positively impact their performance in academia.

Discipline. Although your first attempts at reading to a young toddler may include a lot of fidgety behavior, eventually as you engage with them, their attentiveness and attention span will increase. As colorful illustrations grab their attention and your voice bring those pictures to life, the amount of time the very young child will sit still and listen will increase and soon they will be captivated. After they have attained the level of self-discipline to last for the duration of the story, you may find them requesting a second or third book. This simple exercise in self-discipline will assist them in later years when at college they must set their own study habits.

Handling change. Transitions are never easy for anyone, toddler, teen or adult. By observing how characters in stories handle changes, young children pick up on methodologies for handling the stressful events in their lives. From new babysitters, to the first day of school, to handling the loss of a pet, friend or family member, books can help a child learn from a very early age how to handle stressful situations in a healthy, positive manner. Learning that experiencing anxiety is normal and providing examples of how to appropriately relieve stress is something that will benefit the child throughout their entire lifetime.

Deepening a parental bond. Just as when you cuddled and comforted your child as an infant, if you make curling up together with a good book a pleasurable experience, the closeness and open discussion will help foster an open line of communication that will remain with your child throughout their lifetime. Even a toddler can point out what they like best in a picture book and as your child ages, the depth of discussion will expand. Relate stories to events in the child’s life and have them talk openly and freely. The bond built early will be helpful during the upcoming teenage years and beyond.

Academic performance. Many scientific studies have proven that reading to children from the time they are toddlers will result in a higher aptitude for learning. Children who have spent lots of time with parents reading books typically do well with the curriculum in formal education.

Speech. When you read to your toddler, you are reinforcing language sounds the youngster will retain and apply to learning our language and their own speech. Important skills like articulation, enunciation and proper grammar are emphasized.

Reading basics. Reading to a very young child helps them to comprehend quickly that text flows from left to right, and words on the page are not part of the illustrations. These fundamental basic skills are promoted through early reading with your child.

Communication. By experiencing how literary characters interact with each other, plus with discussion about the story you are reading, a toddler learns the basics of communicating with others at an early age.

English language. Reading to toddlers very early has been tied to a better understanding of the fundamentals of the English language, which is an excellent foundation for the upcoming school age years.

 

Logic and concepts. Reading to a child from a very early age is inheritably tied to formulating your child’s ability to understand cause and effect, practice good judgment, apply logic to situations and problems and grasp complex and abstract concepts. Interactions between people and dilemmas solved in books help your child relate to scenarios within their own world, and apply similar methodologies. The more your toddler starts to relate what occurs in books to what’s taking place in their own life, the more excited the child will become about time spent reading together.

The power of reading well should never be underestimated, and a parent’s ability to instill a love of reading at an early age is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. It is also one of the most rewarding experiences you will remember fondly once that child is grown and out from your nest. When you share these precious moments reading with your child, you are preparing that child to excel in later academia and in life. It is never too early to start your child on the path to a love of reading that will benefit them throughout all of their days.

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