Plenty of adults don’t like to read. Yet, they’re intelligent, happy, and capable. They know HOW to read; they just don’t enjoy reading. Or, they don’t feel they have the time to read for pleasure. When I tried to find a word for a person who loves to read, I was surprised to find – nothing that really fits. A “bibliophile” is used frequently but it most accurately describes someone who loves and/or collects books. That only partially works. Accumulating books and loving their history isn’t the same as loving to read anything you can get your hands on. The bigger question is why some people don’t love to read. And, what does that have to do with the topic here, Beth? (I’m almost there).
It’s a skill we need just to navigate through life (street signs, applications of any sort, school of course, safety, etc.). But, what about reading for pleasure? Is that just a luxury a busy parent can’t afford? Noooo, I say. It’s not a luxury; it’s a critical necessity.
Adults who don’t like to read may have been children who didn’t have books in their home. Maybe they weren’t properly taught how to read in school or they struggled with reading and nobody was there to help them. They lost their fascination with reading early on. So, the answer is fostering children’s imagination and interest at the earliest age possible to ensure that love continues into adulthood.
The benefits of reading are lifelong
Books help solve problems and make great friends
One thing I love about kids’ books nowadays is the variety. Want to reinforce a point with your child? There’s a book about it. Sharing? Being you? Potty training? Changing the world? There are books on it. Kids can find refuge in characters experiencing the same things they are. You know they’re in love when they want to sleep with their favorite book as much as their much-loved stuffed animal.
Why do we have a bedtime routine of reading? It’s calming and helps children (and adults) slow down and prepare to sleep. Nothing better than rocking and snuggling under a blanket with a little one while reading their favorite stories.
Critical for kids’ development
Scientific studies show us that learning new things actually creates new cognitive pathways in the brain. Reading aloud to a child models proper grammar and pronunciation. It introduces and reinforces educational as well as abstract concepts in an engaging way. Kids’ books can be very entertaining for adults. They are frequently wildly funny but quite interesting and informative for every age.
Ignites the imagination
Where else can you find talking llamas, school buses that sing, trains that embark on wondrous journeys or kids that have fabulous adventures in their own home?
Reading to babies and toddlers gives you an excuse to cuddle (as if you needed one). Making it a routine becomes a constant that a child can count on in a changing world. Never forget that kids are watching. If Mommy or Daddy thinks reading is important, kids will too. And, they’ll want to do it with you.
All of these benefits (and more) make a well-rounded person who can synthesize information and question everything. Readers become people who question why not and do things that make the world a wondrous place. Keep your children close by reading with them and you won’t have to go looking for them.
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