We all know reading is great for everyone at any age, but what are the true plus sides of reading to your child from birth?
Whilst reading might seem a mundane task to some; it is paramount to any child’s development. It improves their speech skills, understanding of emotions, and concentration abilities, and overall enhances their chances of success in life. Read on for more detail about the benefits of reading to your child from day one.
Develop Their Concentration and Focusing Abilities
Reading is a great way of getting your child to focus, as they concentrate on a new story or maybe just an interesting picture. This will create the foundation for their concentration and discipline skills later on in life. There are all sorts of ways to ensure you keep your child focused on the book in front of them. You could try getting them a book personalized with their name, like the ones available here, or try speaking in silly voices to keep them engaged.
Faster Development of Speech Functions
Reading aloud to your child is crucial in their formative years, as it introduces them to the correlation between sounds and basic language. This, in turn, affects the development of their communication skills in the long run.
As Kandia N. Lewis, Ph.D., explains in Reading Books to Babies, once “babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language,” and reading plays an important role in their speech development. Essentially, the more you read aloud with your baby from birth, the more words they will hear and potentially understand, so they will develop the ability to talk much sooner.
Introduces Them to Important Social Skills
Whilst the monetary benefit of reading to your child is clear; we mustn’t forget the other numerous ways that reading impacts your baby’s social skills. Reading aloud with expressive voices introduces them to new emotions and the concept of empathy. Reading also helps grow your child’s imagination and creativity and overall assists with their understanding of the world.
Builds Their Confidence for School
As parents, it is your nature to want to protect your child from harm and upset at every turn. What about feelings of insecurity and embarrassment at school? Reading aloud with your child just 20 minutes a day from early on will help encourage their reading abilities and confidence in their skills in a safe, warm environment.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average school day in the United States lasts 6.64 hours. This means that by the age of 10, your child will have spent 5,976 hours in school. School might seem very far away to parents of newborns, but children will ultimately spend almost 6,000 hours of their formative years in school. Spending 20 minutes a day reading with your child will help them feel happy and confident in themselves for that massive chunk of time that they spend in school during their childhood.
Creates Parent-Baby Bonding Time
Setting aside a short while every day to sit down with your little one and read together is a perfect way of ensuring you both get quality time together to bond and appreciate each other. This is especially prevalent at bedtime, but any moment you have to snuggle up with your child and read them a story will help nurture the physical bond you have with them.
Encourages Good Habits for the Future
Reading to your baby every day from day one is an excellent habit to form, as it will be easier to carry that habit forward into later life. It will also encourage them to read a little bit each day when they get older and enter adulthood, so it is important to try and form this habit from a very early stage in their lives.
There are an immeasurable amount of benefits to reading with your baby from birth, even if it is just twenty minutes today. As educators, we should encourage children to explore the world and improve their skills at every opportunity, and reading truly is the best way to do just that.