Monday, March 12, 2012

Reading to Your Child--Three Reasons Why You Should

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.


  1. She no longer has favorite books. When she was little, for some reason she'd prefer over and over the dumb dollar store ones, the ones with little or no plot that like just relied on the fuzzy feel or the famous characters to sell it. Like "Minnie mouse plays peek-a-boo, Grover eats carrots...." I read them, over and over--nearly died!

    But now, she likes variety and yet still likes them read over and over. We go to the library once a week and get a bag full so we can read different books every night, it makes it exciting that there's a brand new book to read, and I don't have to end up reading the same book a million times, just twice a night (she'd want it read more than twice buy I just can't handle more than twice.)

  2. I know what you mean about kids liking the books parents hate. My son is always wanting Bob the Builder books or Thomas the Train ones, and I'm like
    "What about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?"