The Importance of Reading to Your Child

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Most of us adults would recognize the impact literacy has on our daily lives. But did you realize that reading to and with your child from the youngest age possible provides countless benefits to his or her health and well-being?

If you find yourself strapped for time at the end of the day and feel like skipping reading, remind yourself of how beneficial reading with your children can be.

A stronger parent-child relationship

By devoting your attention to your child and his or her favorite book, you are establishing your reading time as a daily bonding experience. Bonding helps establish love, trust and comfort between the two of you, inviting your child to communicate wants, needs or fears with you.

Positive associations with books and readings

With all the electronic reading options available, many people lose interest in reading traditional books. Introducing books at a young age offers a great way to combat technology takeover. Meanwhile, introducing new genres and authors into the reading routine allows your child to personalize his or her reading experience while creating positive associations with books. You’ll also boost his or her readiness for required readings in school, which may include a variety of topics and genres.

Improved speech and communication skills

Reading helps children develop and advance speech and communication skills. Studies show that children who are exposed to reading prior to preschool have a higher aptitude to learn in more formal educational settings. You can use reading aloud as a means to learn new words, understand sentence structures and practice spelling at age-appropriate levels.

Active imaginations

Reading can help to foster active imaginations—both for children who are already imaginative and those needing reinforcement behind creative thinking. Try reading fantasy or science fiction literature and asking the child to explain favorite parts or what he or she wishes could be real. Encourage critical thinking by asking what he or she would want to happen next in the story.

For more information on how reading and other developmental activities play an important role in the lives of children, visit Riley Connections Everyday Wellness articles. If you are concerned about your child’s reading development, talk to your Indiana University Health professional today.

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