My brother, sister, and I are all in our twenties and to this day my dad still credits the grades we achieved in school and the successes we have had in our lives in large part to my mother who read books to us every day. My mom knew the importance of exposing us to books at an early age and encouraging reading as a fun learning opportunity. As we were growing up she enrolled us in the summer reading programs at the local library and, even now as adults, she still gives us books almost every year for our birthdays and Christmas. My siblings and I all enjoy reading and excelled in our English courses throughout our years of education. So does my mom really get the bulk of the credit for raising such brilliant children * 🙂 because she read to us daily from a very young age?
“Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. When you read to your child they hear you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. And your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words.”
“Because shared book reading with infants is related to later language development, it is a good idea to encourage parents to establish reading time with their child as early as four months. This may create a pattern of behavior that holds throughout childhood. Ways to make sure that an infant benefits from each reading experience include responding to the infant’s interests, labeling pictures, using a variety of books, and using the infant’s non-verbal and verbal cues to have a” conversation”.”
“There are many benefits to reading together. Benefits include emotional closeness, vocabulary development, language cognition, voice recognition, image recognition and increased imagination. The greatest of these benefits is the connection that comes from a shared interest and seeing the connection change and grow through the years”.
“Scientific studies investigating the value of fun, early reading experiences for children have shown that being read to will positively affect a child’s level of intelligence, trust, and strengthen their social aptitude as they grow and develop.”
“So much of the intelligence children will ultimately have is developed before they even get to kindergarten. When you read to them, you are building pathways in their brains needed for successful reading experiences. They will be developing auditory perception that allows them to think about how words sound. Furthermore, reading stimulates children’s language development as they are like little sponges imitating everything they hear. Listening to stories will enhance their vocabularies and help them use longer sentences. Another wonderful plus in reading to children is that it increases their attention spans and ability to focus to what is being said. In addition, reading makes children more curious – a trait that must be fostered in young children or they will never acquire it. And of course, their knowledge of the world will expand.”
Well look at that! Maybe my mom had done her research about reading to her children, or maybe she just enjoyed the closeness and bonding it provided between her, my siblings, and I. Regardless of the reason(s) why she was so adamant about reading with us, my mom truly did us a great favor and stimulated our development by doing so.
Now on to how reading is beneficial to parents. Though there are scientific studies that show reading can help change one’s moods and lift spirits, I am going to keep this part short and simple. Diving into a good read allows parents to escape from everyday stresses of parenting. When you chose to read a book whether it is a biography, fiction, or non-fiction, you are allowing your mind to go on a mini vacation. Suddenly your worries about everything else can be pushed aside, even if it is only fifteen minutes a day, to enjoy the written word. So after the baby has been put to bed, the last of the laundry has been done and the bills have been paid, sit down and open a book.