Are the shackles of schedule and work stopping you from reading aloud to your kids? I get it – it’s not easy to maintain the work-life balance, especially now as your child doesn’t need your attention 24/7 like a newborn. Parents start to focus on their career gradually as their infant becomes a toddler and then a child.
But please, DON’T forget to read to them aloud – they are missing out a lot!
Do you remember that age-old saying – Education begins at home?
Yes, despite the fact that they are going to the best schools and receiving top-quality education, your role as an educator doesn’t stop! In fact, you are still the primary educator of your child and always will be.
Why am I saying all of this?
Because most of the kids today are deprived of the joy of reading aloud to, and they miss it! Stats suggest that 83% of kids (ages 6-17) loved it, yet only 17% of the parents (with kids ageing 9-11) do it.
It’s time you took a good book from the shelf and read it aloud to your child.
Here’s how reading aloud benefits your child –
Strengthening the Parental Bonds
The biggest benefit of reading aloud to your child is an emotional one. As you throw yourself back at the office, you struggle to find less and less time for them.
It might create a gap between you.
But quitting your job can NEVER be a solution. Instead, you make the most of that “little time” you guys spend together.
Reading her/his favorite book to them is a very intimate activity. It can also be your special little activity together. These small things carry much more weight in developing their character in the future.
Kids grow up in a flash. One day they are this toddler struggling to walk straight, but in no time, they become teenagers trying to find themselves.
The precious little time before they reach that teenage is “yours”.
Make the most of it!
So, forget about everything else. Why read aloud to your child?
You can have all the happiness in the world in those tiny little precious moments.
Skills, Skills, Skills!
The whole concept of reading aloud to your child might seem nothing but a form of entertainment on the surface. But actually, it’s a gateway to sharpening a plethora of skills.
Don’t believe me?
Let me explain!
As they are listening to you, it’s directly helping their listening skills. Along with it, they are learning new words, which is enriching their vocabulary.
Plus, they are watching you tell the story. This teaches them to tell a story – when to raise the volume, when to pause, when to whisper – everything!
Now, as they are learning to listen and speak, they are one step closer to learning the language better.
Is that all?
No, the list of skill-building doesn’t end there.
They also practice three other essential skills passively – imagination, logical reasoning, and analysis. These three skills are directly connected to the intelligence of a human being.
When we listen to something, we imagine the scenario in our head. We, then, connect all the dots together to form logic and then analyze the story. All of these happens spontaneously without any effort. The more practice them, the better we become.
You can make all of these possible by doing one simple task – reading to them!
A research conducted by The University of Melbourne and the State Government of Victoria suggests that reading to children of 4-5 years 3-5 days per week has significant positive changes. Their cognitive functionality (language and literacy, numeracy, and cognition) increases as if they were six months older than their actual age!
Moreover, if they are read to 6-7 days a week, their cognitive functionality increases as if they were a year older than the actual age!
Better Performance in the Classroom
Tell me something – what happens in a school or any educational institute?
Teachers or educators pass information about any particular thing. The students capture that knowledge, and those who can prove that they have captured knowledge better, excel.
This flow of knowledge is constant for every educational institute in the world – always has been.
Now, let’s compare it to another activity.
You are reading your child a story, and he/she is receiving that information.
Did you find any similarities?
The only difference between the two scenarios is that there is no test in the later one. But the lion’s share of activities is the same – giving and receiving information.
When you are telling them stories, you are making them practice that activity. And just like any other activity, with more practice, they get better at it.
The best part is that the children are NOT aware of the fact that they are practicing education. The spontaneity and the joy behind it increase the success of the process.
Soon, you’ll see your child getting exceptionally better at school.
Fostering Emotional Intelligence
Even one or two decades ago, IQ or intelligence quotient was the only indicator of smartness.
But things have changed.
Now, the experts are imposing equal importance on another factor – EQ, a.k.a. emotional quotient or emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence makes one a better social being. Having empathy and other social skills are now more important than ever. In fact, the leaders NEED to have these traits to successfully execute a task.
Well, the thing is one can increase their emotional intelligence with proper practice.
The simplest way to do so is by trying to feel the intensity of a situation. Then, correlating to that situation from a different perspective (typically from another person). The more scenarios one can imagine or learn about, the better they become at grasping different perspectives.
This is where reading comes to play.
When you are reading to your children, you can guide them to discover the depth of the scenarios with your tone and storytelling style. Soon, they will master this guideline.
Even, you can discuss different aspects of the story after reading it to them. This behavior helps to understand the scenario from different perspectives.
So, you can help your child practice the two key points of increasing emotional intelligence.
How great is that?
Encouraging Them to Read Themselves
Reading is a behavior of a smarter person. No matter how many documentaries or videos one watch, how many podcasts one read, more sustainable knowledge comes from reading.
Well, let’s not waste words describing the importance of reading.
We both know that it’s crucial.
Kids at an early age (5-6 years) struggle to read fluently. It’s mainly because they have a smaller vocabulary. So, they might steer clear of the habit of reading books.
Your first step should be letting them befriend the books. The books should NEVER be their enemy.
If you read to them, you can show them how fun books can be.
Soon, they will try to read the books themselves because they have a fondness for books.
So, again, everything starts with reading to them.
I hope now you understand why reading aloud to your child is important. This fun and happy activity can open doors to infinite possibilities.
We tend to overlook it as it seems so simple to bear so many fruits.
But it does, it actually does.
So please, for the love of anything good in this world, spend time with your child and read aloud to him/her.