Why Reading to Your Child is the Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do
While the technology we have available today is a huge blessing when it comes to getting information at our fingertips, it’s also just as big a curse that keeps us from properly parenting. Believe me, I totally get it when there are those times when you just need to plop your child in front of the TV or hand them a tablet to play with so you can get something done. But there comes a point in time where you need to remember that once you’re done with your tasks, you’ll need to retire your electronic babysitter du jour and take an active role in parenting.
It’s not just about being there for them to handle their basic needs like feeding them, bathing them or changing their diapers. It’s also about devoting some time each day to do something with them that they will not only enjoy but also will prepare them for the most successful future.
What is it you should be doing? Reading to them.
It doesn’t matter if your child is a tiny baby or a toddler. Your child could still be kicking you in the ribs from within too. This is the time – the very best time – to read to them. It is so important to read to them EVERY day, without fail.
Reading helps your child even before they can ever say their first word. Coupled with pictures, the words you read to them will help them understand so much. They’ll learn about situations and relationships. They’ll learn what things are called and develop a strong vocabulary. They will learn what things are and what things do. When you read to your infant or toddler, you are fueling their growing brains with the knowledge they need, whether you realize it or not.
Now I’m not suggesting you sit and read for hours and hours on end but rather that you should set aside time each day to read. A great way is to read to your child before bedtime. For infants, you might have better luck reading when they’re alert after a nap. Whatever time works best, go for it. Toddlers can help you pick out the books they want to hear. Children really do love being read to, especially if you start the habit early on.
Worried about spending lots of money on books that your young child might rip or color on? You should definitely expect some wear and tear on the books you buy for your children. If money is a factor, visit your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army store. The used books you’ll find there will be in generally good condition, perhaps with some scribbles or rips from the children who formerly owned it, but you can buy them for less than a dollar.
And while that’s quite a bargain, the best bargain you’ll get out of this is a child who develops a lifelong love of reading and will never stop their quest for knowledge.
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