Reading to your kids is essential to their development. Reading to toddlers sets the foundation for later independent reading. Reading problems can be challenging to fix when discovered in elementary school, but most reading problems can be prevented if exposure to reading starts in the toddler and preschool years.
They will be better prepared to start school, and one they’re in school, they will learn faster and do better in the long run. Moreover, a daily reading ritual, particularly at bedtime, also helps with emotional growth and can be good for you as a parent as well.
1. HELP DEVELOPS EARLY INTELLIGENCE
Some fantasize about, while others experience the day a class or head teacher says, “Oh, your child is such a fast learner, one of the best in his class!” Except for those very few ‘gifted’ babies, most intelligent kids are intelligent only because there has been a deliberate effort by parents or siblings in some cases, to read to or actively engage them in word and figure games.
So another reason why you should read to your child is to place them on a pedestal that may enable them catch up fast with academics. According to J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D. in his article, Raising Readers, Writers, and Spellers, “reading to preschoolers and being ready for kindergarten can be accomplished easily and informally with a little literacy activity each day in short durations”.
2. BUILDS IMAGINATIVE SKILLS
Reading to your baby helps the child build her imaginative skills. The stories and illustrations in books, especially children’s books, help the child develop and exercise the ability to think vividly and this in turn helps the children to be generally creative in the long term especially when it comes to problem solving.
That’s why it is good to digress in the middle of a book. Ask the child questions about the story or make a comment about their own personal experiences and how it relates to the book being read. This will help them reach a deeper level of engagement in the art and act of reading.
3. FOSTERS BONDING.
When and how do you read to your baby? Is it at bed time (as is popular in Hollywood movies) or when you come back from work? Don’t you take the baby on your laps and hold the book in front of her? This closeness allows the child to bond with you. Through the physical contact, they feel the vibrations of your voice and the emotions you try to bring alive as portrayed in the story book you’re reading.
They play with your hand and sometimes, place their hands on the page. All this physical contact deepens their bond with you (and whoever is reading to them). Reading is therefore one of the best ways of bonding with your child and vice versa. According to Meredith Lord, a child development professional, “reading aloud offers a world of privacy, dignity, and love to both of you”.
4. DEVELOPS LISTENING SKILLS.
As you read to your baby, they start to imagine and the drama that is being played out in their baby mind’s eye keeps them quiet. Unconsciously, the ability to listen is born and developed. You may assume that the ability to listen is given much like common sense but look around you and I’ll bet you won’t find that many people do not have the common sense to listen without interrupting. This ability, proper listening, is an ingredient that is needed to improve the quality of relationships all over the world. In conclusion, reading to your baby helps him to develop the ability to listen and listen properly.
5. A CHAPTER A DAY DRIVES IGNORANCE AWAY!
A chapter a day drives the devil away! This is a popular saying that pertains to the bible and religious pursuits. In this case however, ignorance is the devil that will be sent fleeing as you start reading to your child from as early as 6 months.
This directly affects your child’s intelligence, world-view and the ease with which he or she functions in the society in the short and long term as he or she will be more interested in reading not just story books but any other written information that appears on other media as well. It is important of course, to observe which book your child is more interested in because it may help in understanding what career path and skill you may need to help your child with.