There is nothing quite as appealing as curling up on a couch with your favorite book in hand. If that isn’t a good enough reason to read, read on to know the many other benefits of reading books that can prove to be life changing for children.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Supports cognitive development
Let us start a little before when the child begins to read herself. If, as a parent you have spent a lot of time reading aloud to your young one, you have helped tremendously in her cognitive development. Research shows that thousands of cells in the child’s growing brain respond when you read to them. Not only are the many existing connections between brain cells strengthened, new brain cells are also formed. Reading to young children, therefore, improves cognitive skills. Reading and the conversations it prompts, helps the child to make sense of their own lives at a young age. The more adults read to their young children, the more the child will understand the world and their place in it.
Improved language skills
Now this is a given! There is nothing quite like reading to aid the child’s language skills. Reading books is the best way to increase exposure to new words, and learn them in context. It also helps the child strengthen language and sharpens sentence structure.
Importantly, besides offering new words, it also opens up the child’s mind to a whole new range of perspectives. It also helps acquire great communication skills where they know how to put forward their point of view, assertively.
Increased concentration and discipline
Short attention spans are becoming the order of the day for children and adults alike. With multi-tasking becoming a norm, children are doing several things at a time and are distracted with a constant stream of interruptions. This has a strong impact on reducing overall productivity. When you are reading a gripping book on the other hand, improved self-discipline, longer attention spans, improved memory and retention are a given. All of these aren’t just important in the child’s academic journey, but also serve as important life skills in the journey of life.
Gives wings to imagination and creativity
Reading is one activity that opens doors to new worlds. It can broaden perspective, shape attitude towards life and open up new ways of thinking. In fact, it will not be an exaggeration to say that the advantage of reading books is that it shapes the child’s identity and often helps the child find himself in the true sense of the term.
Reading is akin to learning an important lesson in empathy. It helps the child look at things from the perspectives of different characters, a skill that can come in extremely handy in today’s world that is extremely polarized. In fact reading also offers the child the opportunity to connect and bond with others over their favorite stories, characters and more. Think Sherlock Holmes, Elizabeth Bennet, Harry Porter and many more. In that sense, despite reading being an individual activity, it has a social ramification.
Keeps you grounded
The more well read you are, the more humble you are likely to be. This is because the more you read, the more you are likely to realize how much further you need to go. Readers are far more likely to acknowledge that they are work-in-progress as opposed to know-it-alls.
Reading Reduces Stress
What happens if you read everyday is also that you say goodbye to stress and anxiety. In an increasingly competitive world where students are battling a wide range of pressures and where anxiety and depression have taken root, an important benefit of reading is that it has the power to transport you to another world. That you can vicariously live the life of different characters and take a break from your daily routine can act as a big stress buster.
To Sum Up
Jim Trelease in his book The Read-Aloud Handbook, spoke of how when we read to a child in early childhood, we send a pleasure message to the child’s brain. This message is likely to stick with the child and reading will turn out to be his companion when he feels alone or his guide when he feels lost!