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Children absorb almost everything in their surroundings. It's true! Even while they are being read to, their minds are actively taking up all the words they hear and the lessons the characters are being taught.
Reading to your child will benefit them in many ways, including their mental growth and your relationship. All it takes is a few books, some motivation, and some time. A researcher by the name of Keisha Siriboe mentioned that the power of reading to a child is more than just reading — it is bonding.
Here are some benefits of reading to your child:
After a long day at work, after school or before your child's bedtime, reading is a sure way to wind down and spend quality time with your child. Apart from being a relaxing activity, dedicating time to read to your child strengthens the bond between parent and child as they are filled with love from their parent. At the same time, parents can learn more about their children from the way they think, imagine and more.
2. Listening Skills
Reading to your child teaches them the importance of patiently waiting for one to finish speaking before asking questions or making conclusions. When you read to your child, they are actively listening to the details of the story and doing this daily teaches them the importance of listening that helps them in their everyday life.
Each book has its set of vocabulary. Based on research, children who read or are read have a significantly wider and expanded vocabulary compared to children who do not read.
Apart from being exposed to an array of vocabulary, they are also exposed to new words that are not commonly used daily. This not only expands their vocabulary but is also beneficial in helping them write sentences.
4. Thinking Skills
Children are actively thinking when they are reading or listening to stories. Asking them questions and encouraging their capacity for critical thought at this time is ideal. Ask several questions about the narrative every day or often for a few minutes while you watch your child read aloud or when you read a story to them.
Get their help with forecasting, analysing, expressing opinions, and coming up with solutions to issues. With their input, a task that would normally be monotonous can be transformed into a worthwhile pastime.
In almost every story, the character is faced with many obstacles and challenges which they must overcome. Children are already familiar with solving some challenges such as learning to get up when they fall. However, when they read or listen to stories, it expands their minds into analysing other challenges and possible ways to solve them.
Challenge your child to provide solutions to a character’s problems while reading to them and have an open discussion with them on their response. This not only challenges them to think of solutions but also to develop critical thinking skills.
According to a study, reading to children boosts their brain power and prepares them for success at school. Reading or speaking to your child in a repetitive manner helpsthem to remember words and how to use them. This strengthens their minds by stimulating their thinking, listening and concentration skills.
7. Moral Lessons
Classic books such as The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Jack and The Beanstalk and other Aesop fables are great examples where children learn from the characters in their favourite stories. These stories are filled with scenarios where the characters have to make a decision and learn from the outcome of their decisions.
For example, the story The Boy Who Cried Wolf teaches children to not lie and the story The Tortoise and The Rabbit teach children that being slow and steady wins the race. Such stories teach children moral lessons from various perspectives.
Books cover a wide range of topics from animal facts, cars and trains to even tutorials on how to fold origami. Whether the stories are fiction or non-fiction, tales or informational, children are exposed to an endless variety of concepts and ideas.
Children learn from what they are exposed to, whether it is from playing, listening or experiencing. Reading to your child builds curiosity in your child about various topics they may be interested in and helps them find a passion of theirs.
9. Creativity and Imagination
Stories make anything possible – superpowers, fairies, monsters and giants are considered normal. Otherworldly elements and characters are great for developing imagination and creativity in a child.
When children read or are being read to, their minds turn the stories and descriptions of people, places, and objects into pictures. When they are immersed in a story, they start to imagine what the characters look at, think about and behave in the given scenario.
As children become enthralled with the details of a story, they are more likely to listen longer, thus, increasing their attention span over time. Additionally, the more captivating a book is to a child, their concentration increases. Hence, having your child sit and listen to you read helps them expand their ability to focus on longer and more complex stories.
In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to reading to a child apart from strengthening the bond between parent and child. Reading to your child can begin at any age and there is a diverse range of books and stories to tell them about. Read a book to a child and watch their imagination unfold!