The benefits of reading to your child.
If you read one book a night to your child, when they are 5 they will have read 1825 books.
My greatest joy as a parent is reading my little girl her bedtime story every night. I have actually got annoyed with my partner when she has tried to take the job away from me.
As she is nearly two years old I have started moving away from the quick reads. Into the world of chapter books. So far the books we have covered have been The Magic Faraway Tree, a personal favourite of mine from when I was a child. We have now started a series of books, where the heroine shares the same name as her. I am beyond excited at the prospect of starting to read Harry Potter to her.
This is a tradition that has been passed on through many generations. As a child, I remember my mum reading to me, her father read to her. It was a tradition I was determined to continue.
Since she was born I have missed only one evening. For this time I told her a story, over the phone, that I had memorised. It was actually the Billy Goats Gruff, a story I insisted my mum read to me at least once a week.
If you don’t read to your children at night, I urge you to start. The benefits far outweigh the time. Incidentally, I always leave my phone downstairs when I go to read to her. No interruptions are allowed.
The Benefits of Bedtime Reading
Reading to your child at night will help bring out their imagination. As they listen to the story and see it unfold, in their mind, their imagination will be enhanced.
The process of thinking ahead helps to develop a child’s thought processes. It gives them a range of tools, they will need in everyday life.
Listening to someone reading, will improve the child’s speech and language skills.
As anyone who has picked up a book knows, reading can de-stress you. It has the same results if you are read too.
Reading with Older Children
When your child gets to the age that they can read themselves, you can then look at reading together. For example, you take it in turns to read a chapter each. This will help teach children patience as they wait for the story to unfold. Reading with a child will improve their spelling ability and grammar skills.
This special time for the two of you at nighttime will help build time for talking and reflection. If something is going on in their life, they have a dedicated time when they can chat with a parent or carer.
Over time your love of books will be passed down to the next generation. Even now I love swapping books with my mum and discussing the endings.
At only two, my daughter is a bookworm in training. Recently she refuses to go to bed unless she has a pile of books beside her to sleep with. She can often be found wandering around the house with a book in her hand.
Bedtime reading is a dying tradition, but one that I urge you all to adopt and put into your daily routine.