My 8-year-old daughter (S) and I began 2023 with a pledge to read. To make reading attractive to her I suggested we challenge each other. So, for this year our reading goals are simple. S has agreed on reading 2 books a month and I have set a goal of 3 books a month. Two months have gone by and we are both on track so far. What’s wonderful is how excited S is whenever we are talking books. My younger one (T) who is 5 years of age considered reading and writing boring and had not shown any interest in them till December 2022. However, this whole bookish challenge brewing between S and me is getting on her nerves. She has taken this up on priority and is now working on learning how to write first so that she can read at least something to keep our bees away!
Jokes apart, it’s taken a while maybe a couple of years to reach this stage with my children but all good things take time. Don’t they!
Why should reading be encouraged? I am attempting to answer this question through this post. Hop on the bus.
- Because READING BOOKS HELPS IN THEIR COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT.
Children pick up most during their formative years which also implies that whatever we provide them now will lay the edifice for their adulting process. If you can, give them something worthwhile to read now; Their sensibilities, perception, and knowledge will see a massive spurt in the years to come. Reading helps children:
- construct thoughts
- in building comprehension and
- improves their decision-making skills.
Reading is a habit that positively affects a child’s reasoning, intelligence, emotional well-being, and memory.
- Because READING HELPS IN LANGUAGE BUILDING.
First things first. When I say language, I am not restricting myself to the English Language. You can and you must provide them with literature in other languages too. In the end, it is just a language. Your child’s command over a language is it English or Hindi or Marathi or Spanish is directly proportional to the kind of exposure he/ she gets to that particular language.
When we talk of exposure to a language, we are talking about making use of all four senses that are involved in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Hearing. So, if you feel that your child is not comfortable writing in the Hindi language, please check if he/she can read a piece of Hindi literature. If not, you know what to do right? While finding a tutor for English / Hindi may seem to be the need of the hour, reading is what will eventually solve the problem. Finding tuition is a quick fix, but reading is a forever learning.
- Because READING HELPS IN MORE STRESS-FREE STUDY TIME.
Stress-free study time with kids! Is that even true? It is, trusts me. While topping the class in English/ Hindi may not be and should not be your expectation from a child, it does not harm if the child performs better every time and raises the bar unconsciously. Not to forget that he/she is enjoying the process. For instance, I have stopped worrying about English dictations/ any surprise English tests in the last couple of months for my elder one because the reading habit takes care of her knowledge of the subject.
She may not be the number 1 student but she has taken giant leaps as far as the language is concerned. Her reading habit has taken care of vocabulary, grammar, phonic awareness, and reading comprehension.
A little extra reading ensures, lesser time in getting Homework/ Test preparations done. One subject less to worry about! Isn’t that wonderful?
- Because READING TEACHES LIFE SKILLS THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR AN ENRICHING LIFE.
I read an interesting research article a long time ago on why to read to your children and would like to share an interesting fact with you.
When we read to our children, we send something called a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain. It means that we are trying to condition our child’s mind to associate pleasure with books!
Having taught in several educational institutions and conducted several life skills sessions early in my career, I do realize the magnificence and significance of this thought. I have met teenagers and even people in their early 20s who associated pleasure to material possessions and all sorts of fancy things. Consequent to this thought process, the inability to reach a certain flamboyant lifestyle, especially in this era of the social media boom often leads to many unsaid mental issues.
What if we can help our child understand that reading is an immensely pleasurable activity? If we can sow the seeds of reading now, come rain come summer (even when you are not around), please know, your child shall always have the shade of a sturdy and healthy tree to fall back upon.
Reading helps build:
- Concentration and discipline
- A strong value system concerning relationships both professional and personal.
- Problem-solving skills
These are all crucial life skills that are imperative to lead a healthy life. Not just physically but mentally as well.
If you have not started reading to your child. Start now. The best time to read to your child is now. And even if your child is not an avid reader, it’s fine. We are only talking about building a habit consciously. Replace a few toys with books and keep them in their room. Tell them reading books is also a good way to do away with boredom. Just make it one of their go-to options.
They will read one day. How far that day is going to be, is for you to decide.
Your children must know that the pleasure and freedom they seek in expensive and far-fetched worlds can also be found in books. The only difference is, the one found in books is real.
PICTURE CREDITS: Lina Kivaka – PEXELS