“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald

Having worked with hundreds of parents over the past few years, I know that one of the main ways that parents connect and have ‘down time with their’child is reading a bedtime story. The quote above is very true and, whilst not all children may become avid readers themselves, the importance of reading to and with them as they grow is undoubted. Here are some of the reasons why:

Bonding Time
Spending time with them helps them feel valued, important and loved.

Develops a love of books and reading
Both emotions and long term memory are located in the middle part of the brain. If the reading experience is a loving, positive one (where. for example, they are cuddled up to you whilst you read) they associate reading as a pleasurable experience.

Can help Confidence & Self Esteem
Reading the same book (and they always have a favorite!) means they can predict what is coming next which helps them feel good about themselves.

Life Lessons
Books are a great way of giving them exposure to new situations in life that may be coming up. From potty training, travelling on an airplane, new sibling, or a change of house. It can also help to reinforce values like sharing, respect, honesty etc

– Can provide them with plenty of good, clean fun!
– It can provide them with endless hours of entertainment – invaluable for life and for that long journey!
– Expands Vocabulary
– Enhances Attention Span
– Fuels Imagination, Curiosity and Creativity
– Can open up new worlds and enrich their lives
– Can give them a love or Art form and pictures.

Don’t just read the story and go out…

  • As they grow it is important to talk to them about what you (and in time, they) are reading. It can be a great prompt for a conversation and learning more about them and where they are ‘at’ at that particular age and stage.
  • Encourage them to add to or make up their stories. In time this can extend to writing their own.
  • Have books around the house.
  • Let them see you reading.
  • If there are older siblings, let them read to their younger siblings also. It can help them feel good about the fact the can read and can be good bonding time.

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

I would love to hear from you. If you have any feedback or would like to avail of one to one parent coaching, I can be contacted at 087 2232937 or marian@theparentcoach.ie
Until next time