The Benefits of Reading To Your Children
by Susie E. Caron (c) 11/4/14
One of the reasons I write picture books is to encourage parents to read out loud to their children beyond preschool age. There are many benefits for reading to kids. Some benefits are more immediate, while other benefits may last a life time. Today I share some of the essential ways that reading to your children helps. These include physical and emotional nurturing, intellectual development, and parental influence.
Reading to your children provides lots of opportunity to be close.
We all need this. Children enjoy the warmth of being physically close to their parent or caregiver, as they cuddle to hear a story. This cuddle time can happen at any time throughout the day. You might even find that reading to your children is helpful for a 'winding down' time, such as before bedtime. By carefully choosing the books you read, this can help children to have good dreams while they sleep. Children benefit physically, when you read to them because they feel valued, loved, and nurtured. I know you also enjoy a little 'quiet time' with your arms around your children now and then. By establishing times of quiet and physical connection you also create more opportunities to build a strong parent-child bond.
Reading out loud offers opportunity to get to know your children better. After you read, ask your children about their feelings or thoughts. For example, you could ask, "How did you feel when____(mention something that happened in the book). You could ask "What do you think -(name of character in the book) was thinking or feeling?" How about asking, "What would you do if this happened to you or one of your friends?"
Be patient, and gently validate your children's attempts to express their feelings and thoughts. It takes time for kids to develop ways to talk about their 'inner dialogue'. Your gentle validation of your children's words can help them feel heard, valued and understood. With such a light touch you may also get a clearer picture about your children's self- concepts.
When you read to your children you can read from books that are more advanced than they can read themselves. Books above their current reading levels or that contain content beyond their experience provide wonderful intellectual stimulation. Kids who are read to in this way, develop a larger vocabulary, more complex thought processes, and the ability to understand and to use complex verbal language. Who wouldn't want that for their children?
There is one more reason to keep reading to your kids until they won't let you. You can influence their personal development by exposing them to any literature, ideas, cultures, religion, standards, processes and a number of things you believe is important. Most kids enjoy being read to even in later years. Don't be afraid to teach what you believe, to set the standards for your children. Do it early and often. If you don't, they will absorb them from somewhere, and you may not enjoy what they learned.
These are only a few of the very good reasons to read out loud to your children. Tomorrow I will write about another reason and why you might want to add reading to your children as a daily routine.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it and can use some of this information in your own life.Please leave a comment below and share this on your favorite social media site.(Links below and above.)
Also, join me and my friends Sat. Nov.8 as I launch my 3rd picture book Twee' for Two. If you buy one or more copies that day, send me a copy of the receipt (PM or Post on fb page) and you will be entered into one of several drawings for Vermont Gift Certificates. To join us click HERE.
Twee' Means You & Me
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!