Today is ‘Family Literacy Day’, and a study by The American Academy of Pediatrics proves that reading to your children will help nurture more than literacy skills.
Research has shown that parents who spend time reading to their children end up developing stronger parent-child relationships, an important factor in a child’s cognitive, language and emotional development. Evidence also shows that children who are read to during the infancy to preschool years, will develop better language skills, in addition to improved reading abilities.
Only 60% of children from families with incomes 400% above the poverty level and 34% of children from families below 100% of the poverty level are read to daily. Every family, regardless of income, should be counseled about the importance of reading together. [AAP News]
It proves the importance of reading for parents and their children, but professionals who work with families should emphasize the importance of this to their clients as well. Teachers, pediatricians, welfare workers and others in these types of positions can do a lot to promote reading to children. Some ideas include hanging pictures that promote literacy, or distributing information to parents about family reading or community libraries.
The best advice for parents in reading to their children, is to make it fun and relatable. Here’s some simple tips:
- Choose something age appropriate, kids under two-years-old have shorter attention spans and books with more pictures than words would likely fare better.
- Make it engaging for them, try asking them questions about the storyline or characters as the story goes.
- If children are at reading age or learning to read, have them try to read a couple lines, or take turns reading paragraphs with them.
- Make it fun, try different voices or reading in an animated way. You can get creative with how you approach reading time with your kids.