As a parent, you are constantly bombarded with information regarding your child and their wellbeing. Online articles, magazines, well-meaning friends and relatives, and socially-unaware strangers all have advice on how you should be tending to your child. In one way, this article is much the same, but in another, it comes with a caveat: no one knows your child better than you do.
As with any information on children and parenting, always listen first and foremost to your own intuitive understanding of your child. History is full of countless examples of people who were exceptions to the rules. Your child might well be one of these exceptions, and the aim of this article is not to make you feel like your child isn’t going to succeed in life or be happy or be healthy unless you follow these instructions. The aim is simply to identify and explain one of the larger patterns that have revealed themselves as scientists and psychologists began paying closer attention to children and their development over longer periods.
The pattern is as follows: children develop a love of reading, tend to read more, and as a result, they often perform better academically, have positive professional outcomes, and experience more emotionally stable adolescence.
How To Foster A Love Of Reading
Before we begin, it would be fair to point out that, having learned about the positive effects “being a reader” can have for children, many parents become hyper-focused on instilling a love and habit of reading in their children. The aim is a good one, but parents need to be sure that they are not presenting reading as something that is an obligation. Children are highly intuitive and will sense immediately that you’re trying to get them to do something good for them but not fun.
This can be avoided by setting a good example for your child. If parents are reading regularly and enjoying reading, children are far more likely to copy the behavior and become avid readers as well. Along this vein, the experts at optimizedfamily.com/parenting/reading-head-start-review have compiled the data of several studies which indicate that reading regularly to your child is a crucial part of encouraging positive literary development. It’s never too early to begin reading aloud to your little one.
Likewise, if parents speak about books and have books scattered throughout the house and give books as gifts, this will also indicate to children that books are intrinsically valuable, not just something that is going to help them get ahead in life, like eating vegetables or brushing their teeth.
Reading For Fun Improves Children’s Academic Performance
Reading for pleasure results in more reading overall and regular reading has tons of benefits. Children who enjoy reading tend to perform better academically, not just when it comes to literacy but with mathematics as well. Yes, reading regularly introduces children to more words, therefore improving their vocabulary, but it also introduces them to new ideas and methods of absorbing new concepts and information. This has a drastic impact on their performance at school. Reading more has also been associated with a higher chance of attending post-secondary education.
Reading More Is Linked To More Prestigious Employment
People who read for pleasure are also more likely to perform well in a professional capacity. A University of Oxford study found that those who regularly read as a teen have been shown to gain better job prospects than those who did not read for fun. No other activities, such as involvement in sports, regular socializing, visiting museums and galleries, or practical hobbies like cooking and sewing, were shown to have any impact on their careers.
Reading For Pleasure Is Associated With Emotional Wellbeing Among Teenagers
Reading often introduces young teens to important concepts that their personal experiences might not have brought them until much later in life. Teens who read regularly are given insight into mature relationships, physical safety and security, personal values, aesthetic preferences, a wider variety of cultural identities, and a broader understanding of the physical world. All of these concepts are incredibly valuable when it comes to making the transition between child and adult with maximum emotional wellbeing.
Again, we would like to reiterate that this information has not been collected with the intention of providing yet another milestone you’re obligated to measure your child up to. Every child is different, every parent is different, and therefore, every parent-child relationship is going to be different. Use the above information in whatever way works best for you and your child.