Many of us still remember how our parents or even grandparents read to us stories when we were children. Bedtime was always anticipated as we were told stories that transported us to magical kingdoms inhabited by princes, princesses, dragons, and more. Those momentary journeys can never be forgotten, and we of that generation are the lucky ones. Today, the storytellers of old are gone and have been replaced by television, mobile apps, and social media. Kids now are rarely read to. Storytelling these days has become a dying art. This is very sad because storytelling and reading have a lot of benefits for children.
What is tragic about the whole thing is that parents have forgotten that reading stories to their children is not merely a way to put them to sleep. According to momjunction.com, there are more benefits than that. With reading, children get closer to their parents, both physically and emotionally. Also, there are many lessons to be learned from stories. Television has an advantage as a visual medium but reading to children allows them to imagine for themselves the story’s characters, settings, and plot.
Reading can also increase their memory. Tonight, read your child one story and ask him to repeat this after a few days. Children learn fast and have vivid imaginations. They can describe the plot in no time but sometimes, with a little help from you. This exercise should be a fun way to expand their memory and encourage concentration.
When children listen to stories, they will encounter new words, and parents, of course, will have to explain the meaning of these before proceeding with the story. This way, kids won’t be lost in the continuity of the narrative. More of these new words would lead to an expanded vocabulary. At times, the children themselves, through curiosity, would ask for the meaning of unfamiliar words. Take a short pause and explain. Making them understand will also make them feel good, and the new words will be retained better in their memory banks.
One thing adults cannot easily forget when they read books during childhood are the lessons learned from each story. The characters in a story, especially the heroes and heroines of good character, are models they can relate to. Choose for your kids stories that convey meaningful messages and those that can inculcate in them positive qualities like wisdom, courage, honesty, and so on.
Studies have proven that children at their younger ages absorb learning and experiences more than in their later years. After all, the brain develops fastest at such ages. This should encourage parents to read more to their children while they are young. Remember that children are curious, are fast learners, and are good listeners. Interesting stories, as most children’s literature are, can develop their listening skills too as described on indiatimes.com.
When the plot of a story becomes a little complicated, children can be left feeling confused. This becomes more so if the situation involves the main character who may find themselves in difficult situations. Here, you should teach your child that problems, pain, and suffering are a part of life. Remind them that life is not always a bed of roses, that everybody is vulnerable to hard times. This way, the child will become well-equipped to face life in various situations.
TV and internet watchers today have become addicts as they are immersed in fast-paced programs that offer them no room for mental development. Don’t let your children get hooked on such media-soaked environments. Make that effort to let them think for themselves. Reading stories to them will get them more involved than watching television. Listening to stories, without the visual aspect, will make them think better, emote faster, and become more creative. They can also ask questions if they need, which they cannot do while watching television. This interactive session also encourages their imagination.
Many children are by nature inquisitive and will want answers for their questions. With storytelling, children can be taught the art of asking the right questions. It will also teach them how to start a perfect conversation. As parents, encourage your kids to ask questions and always provide a satisfying answer that would make him more confident. Regular sessions of reading can also develop children into good orators or speakers.
What kinds of books and stories are best for children and the benefits of reading ?
There is a multitude of children’s books that are available out there that one may not know where to begin or which to choose. As a general rule, purchase those that children will enjoy. Those with songs, nursery themes, stories that have good rhyme and repetitions are some of the best picks, according to the raisingchildren.net.au site.
Books should be of just the right length and should match your child’s changing interests. There are a variety of reading materials for your child that should not only include books but magazines, instruction materials, TV guides, e-books, and letters as well because they could be as engaging and interesting to the child. Should you opt for e-books, pick those that don’t have games and animations that could be distracting. With e-books, make it a point to always enjoy them WITH your child instead of leaving them alone with the gadget.