I'm a rather busy mom, and on this blog I usually post about ways to optimize your time and make homemaking and raising children simpler. But today I'm going against my usual mantra, and I'll address something that will add time to your busy schedule. But it's worth every minute of sacrifice you make. Today I'm going to talk about reading to your children.
Child psychology experts advocate you should read 20 minutes a day to your child, and they have myriad reasons to back up their advice. Here's a few:
1. Reading to your children helps develop their imagination, while on the flip side, too much television hinders your child's imagination. This is interesting to me, as I actually force my oldest son to go up to his bedroom and play with his toys for forty minutes per day. No coloring books, no TV, no computer games. Just his imagination and his action figures, or blocks, or Lincoln Logs or Legos. And when I do this early in the day, I notice that he's more responsive and better behaved throughout the day.
2. Reading to your children helps them associate reading with pleasure. Whether or not your child becomes an avid book lover later in life, he or she will spend much time reading: newspapers, blogs, magazines, textbooks, text messages, emails, and those annoying forms you have to sign at the doctor's office once a year. Your child won't be able to get away from reading as he or she matures into adulthood. Reading to children when they are young can help prepare them for the future responsibilities they'll face in our busy, modern world.
3. Reading to your children boosts their background knowledge and curiosity. If your child has a question or something piques his interest in one of his books, go to the library and get more books on the subject. Fill that thirst for knowledge your child is already developing, and do so in a way that makes learning fun for him.
I know reading to your children takes time from your busy schedule. And if you read before putting them to bed at the end of a long day, it might be the last thing you want to do or have energy for. But the end result is worth it.
I'll have more on reading to your children in my next post. In the meantime, I'd love to hear what your son's or daughter's favorite book is in the comments below.