We all want the best for our kids. But what’s best can often be hard to decipher. There are so many alternating viewpoints on parenting, on the “do’s and don’ts” of child-rearing, that it can often feel like shooting in the dark. Luckily, there are a few things that are considered to be universal goods– best practices, so to speak, in the delicate art of setting a young person up for success in this increasingly demanding and competitive world.
In a word: Reading. There is no single activity with as many well-research and agreed upon benefits as the simple act of reading a book with your child. But what exactly does that mean? In today’s short article, we take a look at five of the biggest reasons to crack a book with the young people in your life.
1. Reading is Great for Bonding
We know how exhausting parenting can feel. Sometimes, you just need to back away from the swing-set and Nerf guns, and spend a quiet moment with your son or daughter. A comfy couch and a cup of coffee doesn’t have to be a boring time-out for the little ones, however.
A good book represents a fantastic opportunity to spend some one on one time bonding over something intellectually stimulating. Imagine all the aspects of the world that a given story opens up, and all the teaching moments such things provide.
2. Reading Improves Linguistic Skills
Having a wide and diverse vocabulary, as well as the ability to utilize language with grace and fluidity, are so important in today’s world. Reading strengthens overall command of the language tremendously, all while being engaging and not feeling like a chore. Studies show that Children’s whose parents read to them tend have higher reading levels, as well as verbal and linguistic scores.
3. Reading Sets Children up for Academic Success
To follow the previous point, literacy skills are far and away one of the biggest predictors of scholastic achievement. Academic excellence, and all that it requires, can often be predicated on an early childhood filled with bouts of storytelling, reading, and overall engagement with the written word.
4. Reading Improves Focus
In a world full of bright, blinking lights, a child with the capacity to sit down and immerse themselves in a book for thirty minutes a day is way ahead of the curve in terms of their ability to focus and concentrate. But just as the ancient Buddhists well knew, a distracted life is often far from fulfilling. By developing an early reading habit, children learn to appreciate the slow-burn reward of intense concentration. This is a crucial skill in a world full of instant gratification.
5. Reading Teaches Children Different Perspectives and Viewpoints
Finally, we come to one of the most important aspects of kids reading. When a child engages in a story, their little minds are opened up to different ways of thinking about the world and their place in it. They learn to view things from different perspectives–which can go a long way to making them broad-minded adults when they reach maturity.
There are so many more reasons to read with your children. There is, in fact, no way to cover them all in such a short article. Suffice it to say that it is something all parents should do as often and as consistently as possible. The benefits really do add up, and can give your child a massive boost to his or her cognitive development.