Foster a Love of Reading in Your Children
Reading to your children is extremely beneficial. Children tend to learn the best through warm engaging reading times shared with their mom, dad, grandparents, or older siblings. Some of the well-known long term effects of reading to children are allowing them to be school ready, helping them with language development, and advancing their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
However, the benefits of reading just don't end there. Reading to your children helps increase their vocabulary, the basic foundation of literacy. The understanding of words and meanings or vocabulary is the best predictor of how a child is going to do when it comes to reading comprehension. It also helps increase their imagination as well as empathy. Reading about different characters facing a variety of situations helps them identify, relate to, and empathize with those characters that they are reading about. Decreased disruptive behavior in school and increased attention span are other lesser-known but important benefits of reading. Most importantly reading helps parent-child bonding. With busy and hectic daily schedules, reading to children offers an opportunity for parents to bond with their children in a positive way.
Here are five tips to set up a rewarding reading time with your children every day!
- Choose books that are interesting to your children—Involving children in choosing the books they want you to read to them is key in developing their curiosity. This also helps them get a sense of responsibility and shared control in the reading process.
- Choose age-appropriate books—The books that you read to your children should depend upon the age of your child. It is very important for the child to read age-appropriate material. For early ages, the books you choose should be very basic and full of images and illustrations.
- Maintain a routine—Children thrive on routines and no matter what comes up, your reading routine should be safe from any distractions. This helps foster a love of reading and your children will begin to look forward to reading.
- Set a reading time everyday—Help your children recognize the designated reading time on the clock and give them the responsibility of being ready with their book choice at that time. Start with just a few minutes initially and as children get older give them the opportunity to read to you.
- Have a dialogue—It is important to talk about the book while reading and encourage your children's active participation. Dialogic Reading is an extremely effective way of reading aloud with young children. In this technique the parent becomes the listener and the questioner and the child becomes the storyteller.
We all do what we love. In order to foster the love of reading in children, the first and most important step is for parents to begin reading to them from an early age. Reading to young children is vital in shaping their future as critically-thinking, responsible citizens of the world. By reading to young children, with these simple steps, parents can not only bond with them but also help foster a lifelong love of reading and set their children on the path to becoming strong and independent readers.