21st century technology has revolutionized the way people communicate. Devices are at the same time so sophisticated and user-friendly that even toddlers can call grandma and grandpa and watch a video. With all these capabilities at our fingertips, many believe that books are not modern and all too many well-meaning, but busy parents, allow computers, smart phones, and television to entertain their children. Not only are such youngsters losing out on a vital experience, but Dad and Mom are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in their kids’ lives.
Here are five great reasons why parents should turn off the device and make story time a regular part of the day.
Shared Reading Reinforces Parent-Child Bonding
The best tried-and-true formula for enhancing parent-child attachment involves sitting down with the youngster–from newborn to teen–and a good book. Toddlers, with their conflicting desire for independence and reliance on parents for basic needs, benefit from the closeness that results from sitting on your lap as you read a favorite story.
Books Stimulate the Imagination
Books kindle kids’ imaginations and foster creative thinking. When parents read to children, little ones are more likely to express their ingenuity. Even young infants reap the benefits of story time. Listening to Mommy’s voice while reading introduces Baby to the world of words and paves the way for language development. Toddlers and preschoolers delight in interactive reading: answering questions about the story and pointing out details in pictures. Even youngsters who are proficient readers have not outgrown shared reading time.
Books Develop Problem-Solving Skills
Picture books like Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell inspire youngsters as they entertain. Rump: the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff teaches powerful lessons. Lesson about self-reliance, friendship, loyalty, and making the right choices even as it tickles the reader’s funny bone. Sharing such books with kids reinforces the messages and values they impart. As parents can ask what they would do in the character’s situation–and help children with similar difficulties find solutions.
Story Time Begins a Lifelong Affinity for Books and Reading
Children learn what they see and hear long before they can verbally express themselves. If youngsters observe parents spending hours watching online movies or playing video games–and using computers and television as virtual babysitters–they begin to absorb the notion that electronics provide the best entertainment. When families make shared reading a regular–and important–part of the day, children learn that books open up their worlds in a way no video can.
Reading Is an Asset for Vocabulary Building and Learning Concepts
Sharing books with infants introduces the idea that words have meanings. Reading jump starts the child’s vocabulary and teaches concepts like colors, letters, shapes and numbers in an enjoyable way. When parents read to their infants, they understand more words by the age of two than those who are not exposed to books. What’s more, kids who grow up with story time are more likely to begin reading on schedule.