The life of a Mom is a busy one. Sometimes, I give myself a pat on the back just for surviving the day.
We get caught up in the daily stresses like chores, emails, school, keeping the kids from killing each other… I find myself lost at times. My son will be flopped on the floor, my daughter glued to some youtube video with adults opening “surprise eggs” while I try to find 10 minutes to put laundry away. We need something to quickly bring us back together. Enjoying each other, learning, experiencing, and being present. I always turn to books.
Many studies have demonstrated that reading to your children has MANY positive effects. For example, a study was made in Rhode Island Hospital to compare two groups of eight month olds – one group was read to often as babies, while the other was not. It was shown that those who were read to have their “receptive” vocabularies (number of words they understand) increased 40 per cent since babyhood, while the non-reading group increased by only 16 per cent.
Reading books aloud to children helps stimulate their imagination and expand their understanding of the world. Taking the time to read to your children sends an important message: your presence, your love and attention. If there’s anything a child wants and needs the most, that’s it.
Here are some other reasons why I read to my children daily:
- It’s calming. So many times reading has helped me calm a tantrum (come on, I have a 3 year old). I’ll bring out a pile of books and ask her to pick which one we should read first. Distraction helps advert her attention elsewhere while reading helps her relax.
- It aids in some good conversation. I love the silly things we end up chatting about while her imagination is running wild.
- It expands vocabulary.
- Promotes longer attention span.
- Books teach your child thinking skills early. When you read to your child, they learn to understand cause and effect, to exercise logic, as well as think in abstract terms. They learn the consequences of actions, and the basics of what is right and wrong.
- Younger children learn about colors, shapes, numbers, and letters.
- The sound of my voice soothes my little one letting me enjoy time with both of my children together. Babies are fussy, and sometimes that makes it hard for me to spend quality time with my toddler. Reading together gives them BOTH my attention in a positive, educational atmosphere.
Reading to my toddler from an early age has created a deep love for words, adventure, imagination, and creativity in her. Sometimes, I’ll even find her “reading” to herself.
Reading is a small investment you make with your child that will pay HUGE dividends later. Snuggle up with a book, slow down, and enjoy a nurturing activity that will bring you closer together.