“My kid doesn’t need books in today’s world.”
“Books are dead.”
“Kids don’t want to read books with all the technology they have.”
“My kid knows how to read, I don’t need to read with them.”
These are just a few statements I’ve heard people say regarding their kids and reading. This makes my book lady heart hurt. Those statements are just not true. Reading is essential to a child’s development and has many, many benefits. Yes, technology is fun and kids are obsessed with it, but they still need books. We still need to read with our kids. I’ve also seen reading be a role that mother’s tend to take on more than father’s, but I want to challenge you, dad, to read with your child.
Here are just a few benefits of reading with your child can give you:
Reading with your child creates a special bond. Books let you dive into a new world full of imagination, freedom, traveling, learning, and more. How fun to be a part of that imaginary world with your child. Even if your child can read, find books that are more challenging than their current reading level and read them together.
This is a super important one! With all the technology out there we find ourselves constantly in conversation with others, texts, messaging, SnapChat, Marco Polo, but how often do you find yourself sitting with your child having a real conversation about something? Books can be a tool to help you converse with your child. This can be done with younger kids by asking simple questions and having more in depth conversations with older kids.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by how much there is to teach your child about life? Manners, life skills, morals?! Again, books can help! With young children, find books about manners. Read it, have a conversation, and use those manners in everyday life so they can see it in action. With older kids, you can search for books on certain topics or use whatever book you are reading and chat about what they can learn from this book or event. Books can make opening up about difficult topics a little easier and what parent doesn’t want a little help now and again.
Spending that quality time together is going to leave a positive impression on your child. They will remember the book you read together that summer you went to the Grand Canyon, they will remember when you curled up on the couch and read on rainy Saturdays, they will remember the time you went to that cute bookstore and picked out a stack of books to read together. These are special moments and they won’t forget them and it will make them want to do it with their future children.
Make Reading Fun!!
Here are some tips for how to incorporate reading with your kids into your life!
- Put books everywhere! Make sure books are accessible to you and your child! Put them in the bathroom, at the breakfast table, in the car, next to their bed, and wherever you spend the majority of your time at home.
- Wake up with a story! Read a chapter of the book you’re reading together or let your child pick out a short book the night before to read when you wake up in the morning.
- Build a fort, grab some books and flashlights! Your kids will love this and so will you!
- Make a day of it! Head to a local bookstore, grab a treat from the cafe, and then spend some time searching for the perfect books to read together.
- Create a book challenge! How many books can you read in one summer? How many different places can you read books? Make it fun!
- Books for gifts! Pick out a book to give to your child for special occasions, such as birthdays or Christmas, write a note on the inside cover, and gift it to them. These will become treasured tokens from their childhood that they will keep forever.
There are so many benefits to reading with your child but I truly believe the biggest benefit is the relationship you will create with your child.
Take the time, find a book, grab your kiddo and get reading. Your kid will thank you.