We all love to read to our kids, right?
Apparently not. It seems there are growing numbers of young parents today who are so accustomed to the ‘electronic age’ that they don’t read very much themselves, or ever think to read a book to their little ones. Some of these kids never see a book; only an iPad or tablet is ever given to them as their learning tool, and they never actually get to experience the joy of having mum or dad read a book to them.
And yet evidence has shown that from a very early age infants can see pictures in books, Through a daily routine of reading to them from it, and pointing out the pictures and what they mean, that young child very quickly begins to be able to associate those pictures with what they see around them in the real world.
We have found many times that the sound of our voice as we read to our children and grandchildren actually calms them, making them more receptive to what is being read. They then begin to slowly repeat and understand the sounds they hear from us, better equipping them for when they enter the big wide world on their own.
We love to read to the little ones any time we can, but have always made a point of enjoying a relaxing, pre-bedtime read together. We know from experience that reading to them definitely helps in their development, and their imagination seems to explode overnight as they begin to take in all the words, sounds, pictures, facial expressions and tone of voice we use when reading.
Books are also a great way to explore emotions and fears the child might have. As different scenarios and characters come up in a story, you can use the occasion to talk to your child about what they are seeing, hearing and feeling. By doing it in the safety of the home, that child is then better equipped to face their real fears in the world and talk it over with you when such events occur.
It also means they are more able to handle the transition from home to day care, kindy and school. By developing their language skills each day with you, they will soon be:
- speaking, writing, and reading better
- understanding concepts, shapes and colours
- developing an understanding of actions and consequences
- understanding relationships and personalities
- better able to interact with other children around them, and
- developing a habit that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
And of course it is not long before your child begins to copy you in pronouncing words, describing scenes, and even play with using their voice when the speakers in the story change from female to male, or gruff old bears! They also develop a longer attention span and are better able to concentrate on tasks. Soon they will be reading the story to you, and what better complement is there, than to have your young child heading off to kindy and being congratulated by the teacher on their reading and writing skills!
You CAN choose to develop a closer bond with your child and prepare him or her for their schooling years, and their career beyond that by starting to read to them every day, starting today. We strongly encourage all parents or would-be parents of babies and young children to visit their local library or book store, find some age-appropriate books that will interest your child or children and become a SUPER parent by reading to them now! Why not start reading to them while they are still in the womb, and continue that habit for as long as they will let you!
If you are not accustomed to reading to your kids, we have a cool idea. With Christmas getting near, why not buy and wrap 24 cheap and easy to read books they will like. Then wrap each one separately and put them under the tree. For each day of December leading up to Christmas, they get to open one book which you will read to them/with them before bed. It is a lot of fun and a great way to establish a great reading habit with them.
Please drop us a comment below if you have any thoughts on this post, or if you have any suggestions for other young parents on how to develop a good reading habit with their child.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.