7 reasons why you need to read to your children

Posted September 22

Reading opens the door to new worlds. (Deseret Photo)

Some of my favorite memories from when I was little was when my mom or dad read me a story before bedtime. There were some books ("The Foot Book" by Dr. Seuss) I never got sick of hearing and wanted my parents to read them to me over and over again. My parents’ willingness to read to me as a child instilled in me a love for reading that has never gone away.

It is important for parents to read to their young children. There are valuable lessons to be learned not only from the stories but from the act of reading in itself. Here are seven reasons why you need to read to your children.

1. Bonding time

Reading is the perfect bonding activity, because it will bring you and your children closer together. You will learn more about them, and they will learn more about you. It will improve their communication skills and give you an opportunity to teach your children important cognitive skills through reading. Cherish these moments with your children, because they are moments that can fade fast and that you’ll never get back.

2. Open their eyes and imagination

It’s possible to visit other worlds through reading, and children exhibit this through the wide reaches of their imagination. Nothing is more unique than a child’s imagination. Reading will broaden their mind and expand their ability to dream and create. Encourage their fantasies by allowing them to explore the reaches of their mind by reading to them.

3. Literary advantage over their peers

If you read to your children from infancy, by the time they go to school they will already have an advantage over their peers. Children who have been listening to stories read by their parents have a greater ability to learn to write and read faster than those who didn’t. Giving your children an advantage over others isn’t a bad thing.

4. It can be fun, not a chore

Don’t treat reading to your children like a chore. This takes the fun out of reading and your children know when you don’t want to read to them. Make it fun by reading the stories in eccentric voices suited to each character. Your children will follow along easier and they’ll be more excited by the action happening in the story. They will practically beg you to read to them each night.

5. Improve their listening skills

In this technology-fueled day and age, it’s very easy to lose focus. And children lose focus a zillion times faster than the rest of us. Reading to them will help them focus their attention on the story being told, which will improve their ability to listen. These skills will be extremely beneficial throughout their lives.

6. Broaden their horizons

Reading allows your children to broaden their horizons and learn more about the world, life and humanity in general. Read your children books from different genres featuring diverse characters. This will allow them to recognize and understand people and cultures different from them, and allow them to become more accepting of others' differences.

7. Instill a love for reading

Some children are harder to reach than others, but if you read to your child, it will instill in them a love for reading that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It is important to love to read in general. The world is composed of words and literature; in order to make it in life, we must know how to read. By reading to your children, you teach them to love to read, which will allow them the ability to seek out new worlds, learn about diverse people and cultures, and allow them to be powerful and intellectual beings.


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