What is your favorite book? What book have you been meaning to read but just haven’t found the time? Maybe you don’t read at all, and that’s okay, but now might be the perfect time to start. “Reading out loud is one of the things that you can do,” says Dr. Annie L. Zimmer in an article in Momaha Magazine, “to ensure that your child is going to do well in school.”
Say you’re really into The Hobbit. (Who could blame you?) Why not share with your child the joy you felt when Bilbo Baggins started his adventure with Gandalf and the dwarves? Humans love hobbits. Okay, maybe Smaug is a little scary for young children, but you could skip ahead a bit without losing too much of the plot. You know?
Humans Love Habits
“It’s never too early” to start reading, the article continues. “Pediatricians often encourage parents to begin reading to their children at 6 months.” Dr. Zimmer suggests that what you read isn’t as important as that you read, or maybe just point at pictures together. “It’s the frequent activity children will get used to,” she says, “and start eliciting that behavior.”
Finding a rhythm in life is one of the healthiest things a human can do. Combine that with reading, another one of life’s healthiest things, and that’s a killer combo to start your child off on the right page. “Reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent,” according to research by the University of Sussex. Why not adopt a new routine into your child’s life? Why not adopt a new routine into your life?
Talking and Reading
There is a difference, however, between reading to your children and simply talking with them, as important as that may be.
“Talking to your toddler or baby a lot is very important,” she says, “but reading provides more diverse word exposure and allows for complexity of vocabulary, language skills and sentence structure. Ultimately, the practice of reading books is going to have them wanting to read when they get to ages where they can read on their own.”
As the summer draws to a close, and your reading list is shorter than it was a few months ago, taking a new step to connect with your child over a pile of books might be just the thing to calm her mind to sleep. It might even calm yours, too.