The advent of computers, internet and smartphones have made life easier and faster for all of us. With ease of use come many challenges and problems too. One of the problems faced by families of our times is that kids prefer to stay at home and read on their laptops and other devices and hence their social interactions or circles are limited. Another challenge is that we as families are so caught up with the hustle and bustle in our lives and social media that we often ignore opportunities for bonding with our own families e.g. in olden days kids used to bond with their parents, siblings and especially grandparents through the traditional activity of reading aka “Bed time story”.
Besides creating a beautiful bond of love between families, let us see what else does family reading time offers us as families and our kids.
1) Language skills:
Research has proven that babies (as young as six months) who were given the opportunity of “Read aloud sessions” were not only quicker in their language development but they were book lovers as adults. An early start goes a long way in creating the passion for reading in young kids.
2) Dedicated family time:
The reading time offers a chance to the family to snuggle up, read and share ideas. Older siblings/parents can read taking turns (creating a sense of responsibility and a special bond between them). In short it makes sure that the family gathers, reads and spends a dedicated/quality time with each other.
3) Teaching kids morals and feelings:
The family reading routine of a baby, (who later grows up into a young child while listening to stories about love, care, others perspective etc.), makes it easier for families to teach him/her about family, relationships, consequences of choices, decision making and feeling of others around us. This will teach them real life lessons and wisdom for their everyday life.
4) Better for performance:
Children who read more often keep doing better as they age than other children. Since they have already developed a love for reading, it becomes more like a fun activity than a boring task. The knowledge gained overtime enables them to grasp ideas and to solve problems in a better way. Just like exercise is a boon for their physical development, family reading boosts their mental development and improves memory and attention span too.
5) Develops confidence and communications Skills:
Well-read kids are in a better position to formulate their thoughts before becoming angry or upset since their knowledge gives them more confidence. More confidence builds their self-esteem because they express themselves well and are liked/valued in social circles due to their knowledge. It improves a child’s self-image too.
6) A tool to reduce screen time/Gadget usage:
Family reading can prove to be a very effective tool for parents (who complain that their kids are binging on watching TV/playing games etc.) to reduce the amount of screen time and gadget usage. It can prove to be a great family activity that results in a wise use of the kid’s time followed by acquisition of so much knowledge.
7) Opportunity to teach about culture and religion:
Reading time can be used wisely to teach kids about one’s culture, language, religion and family values with helpful books, material and of course family discussions.
So, snuggle up and enjoy your family reading time!