Why Your Kid Should be Reading
The Many Reasons Your Kids Should be Reading
There are many reasons your kids should be reading, aside from the simple enjoyment of it. “What enjoyment?” you might say. “My kids would rather play video games. Getting them to read is like pulling teeth. I’m a parent, not a dentist!” (Unless you are a parent and a dentist) Getting your young gamer to read may be as simple as introducing them to books based on the games they love to play. (The books based on the games Halo or Minecraft come to mind)
Why encourage your kids to read? We live in a very stressful time. That’s even more true for kids. Reading is great for reducing stress and tension. For me personally, reading was the ultimate form of escapism. Books are also less stressful on parents. They’re much quieter than TV and video games, and the batteries never die. (ebook readers aside)
There are proven academic benefits to reading. Studies have shown that even a twenty minute a day reading habit can result in improved cognitive development. Kids who read for fun do better in school and score better on standardized test and college entrance exams. Why? Well…
Improved vocabulary: The books a kid reads should be challenging enough to leave them with a larger vocabulary than before they’re read.
Improved writing skills: Exposure to various writing styles will make your kid a better all-around writer.
Improved comprehension: It’s not enough to just read the words on the page. The thought process behind true reading comprehension can be applied to many aspects of life.
Improves focus: Reading requires intent and concentration, which will help your kids perform well in a world full of distractions.
Improves creativity: visualization, and imagination: The ability to visualize is a hallmark of intelligence and a critical skill they can use for the rest of their lives.
Develops critical thinking and analytical skills: Trying to understand character motivations and what drives them to make certain choices promotes rational thinking beyond simple ‘if this, then that’ logic. The world is rarely that simple. These skills will help them determine the validity of the many who traffic in falsehoods and half-truths these days.
Improved memory: Enough said.
Develops a thirst for knowledge: Knowledge can be addictive, and kids soak it up like a sponge. The more they learn, the more they want to learn.
There are also several social benefits to being an avid reader as a kid.
Builds confidence: Many kids have anxiety when it comes to reading in class. Practice builds confidence that will carry over into other areas of their lives.
Broadens horizons: Most kids have little to no exposure to the world outside of the area and people they grow up around. Books can expose them to a much larger world, helping them to become more well-rounded individuals.
Improved empathy: Learning about other people and viewpoints will help kids to empathize with others. Empathy is essential for raising kind, compassionate kids who will grow into kind, compassionate adults.
Increased emotional maturity: Learning empathy, understanding what motivates characters in a story, and reading about people in situations they may not find themselves in can help kids understand and deal with their own emotions.
All of these can help Kids develop stronger relationships with those around them. I think there may be a correlation between the lack of civility and decency that seems prevalent in today’s society and the decline in recreational reading in recent decades. Let’s bring reading back. Your kids will thank you…ok maybe not, but you can at least pat yourself on the back.
Read a book. Have an adventure!
M. C. Gladd