It’s no secret that reading is important for children. We hear it on television, in the news and during parent-teacher conferences. The benefits have long been proven and parents are even encouraged to start reading to their children while they’re in the womb. But why is reading important for children?
I’m not here to dispute it’s importance, because there is no argument there. However, I’m here to share with you 16 reasons why reading is important for children that you might not know.
Studies have proven repeatedly that children who are exposed to reading at an early age are more likely to do well in a formal education setting. Once a child has a solid understanding of basic words and sentence structure, it’s easier for them to tackle other subjects too, like science and math.
Reading allows you and your child to develop a bond that is based on learning together. By indulging in the same books or reading them together, you are sharing an experience, and that helps to strengthen your relationship.
The ability to communicate with others is arguably one of the most important things that children learn. They can express themselves and their needs, while also being better able to understand the needs of others. Reading lets you interact with your children, while also showing them different interactions between characters, which greatly increases communication skills.
Logical Thinking Skills
Reading is also important for children because it helps them to think logically about things like cause and effect and certain abstract concepts. It lets them use their logic and apply it to situations that arise in school and life.
Concentration and Discipline
Along with reading comes an increased attention span in children. They become more disciplined and have better memory retention, which better prepares them for school.
The ability to identify with a person and actually feel what they’re feeling is a trait that not everyone possesses. Reading lets children feel the emotions of the characters in a story and this helps them to become better, more empathetic members of society.
Relaxation of Body and Mind
The ability of reading to calm the body and mind is often forgotten. It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Reading lets children focus on the words on the page and the thoughts in their head, instead of the picture on the TV screen or the game on the iPhone.
The likelihood that children will consider reading to be a normal part of everyday life increases when you make it a point to read to them daily at a scheduled time. This makes them more likely to have an appreciation for and desire to read, even into their adult lives.
Reading increases a child’s ability to think outside the box. A great way to get them thinking creatively is to stop at certain points in the story and ask them different questions about where the story is heading. This encourages them to really reflect on what is happening and imagine their own outcome.
According to a study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in 2013, reading to children in an interactive way that gets them involved raises their IQ by over 6 points. It also helps to more readily prepare them for the years of school and life ahead.
Reading teaches children about situations that they might not ever deal with in their own life. These situations teach them what’s good and what’s bad and helps them to begin to build their own personal moral compass, which they’ll carry around with them for the rest of their lives, adjusting and calibrating as they go.
Children who read have the tools necessary to communicate with their parents, teachers and friends, and this gives them higher self-esteem and a stronger sense of self-worth, since they’re confident that they can effectively get their point across.
Learning from the Environment
When children have been reading from a very early age, they’re better equipped to learn from their environment than their peers are. The ability to recognize numerous words by sight gives them a much-needed advantage in understanding the world around them.
Today, children have more stress in their lives than those in generations past. By reading, they are learning how to deal with this stress in a normal, healthy way. There are books about practically every situation, like losing a pet or starting school, and these help explain certain situations in a way that children understand.
Dealing with New Experiences
New experiences can give children anxiety. They worry about the unknown, just as we adults do. Reading books that they can relate to helps them to not feel so alone and better adjusted to their given situation.
Quite simply, children that read increase their ability to be independent. They’re more apt to go out and do things on their own, to seek out and explore new subjects of interest, and to find the hobbies and activities that really interest them.
So, grab your children, a good book and just read. It’s so worth it. Do check out these smart and highly doable tips on how to raise a reader!