Reading Makes Families Closer
It’s a plea I hear from fellow parents all the time.
“I wish I was closer to my kids.”
The longing seems to get more frequent each passing year, and social media only exacerbates it. We see photos of other families and we start to compare. It’s natural to assume the grass is always greener somewhere else. It’s easy to think every family has it more together than ours.
But I have a cure for that common comparison, and that’s to spend time together reading. That’s right, reading!
There’s no better way to get engaged with your kids and spend time intimately and quietly while giving them their best shot at a successful future. Think about it, we know how important reading comprehension to every grade in school. Starting to read at an early age will give children an advantage over others in class.
With other outside programs (camps), lessons (piano) and coaching (sports), there’s a fee to partake. But libraries are free, and everyone has access to them. Instilling a love of knowledge (also free) in a young mind will turn them on to far more worthy endeavors than entertainment can ever provide. There’s a time and place to indulge with screen time, but reading will trump it every time.
But before you can send kids off on their own to read, they need you to show them how it’s done and to help them develop a habit that they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Reading aloud offers so many benefits above and beyond making children read on their own. Those big words you’ll read helps you to introduce new words to their vocabulary, words that they can directly ask you about and begin to understand.
It’s easy to let reading slide among less important tasks and chores to do. Any parent will admit it’s easy to let the TV act as a babysitter, even for a brief respite.
However, reading changes everything. It offers families a sort of togetherness that few activities offer, a commonality that builds closeness.
So the next time you sift through Facebook and start to envy the semi-charmed life of friends you hardly know, think about what your kids really want. It’s not a vacation to Disney World, a perfect princess-themed birthday party, or a visit to Chuck E Cheese.
What they really want is you. Your time. Your love. Your closeness. And reading can deliver that the next time you sit down on the couch and explore a book together. Try it!