The Importance of Reading to Your Child

Recently, the Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post reported that “1 in 4 kids go to bed without a story.”

A survey seemed to indicate that children preferred games or television to books. Although 50% of Israeli parents do read a story to their children each day, about a third of Israeli parents only read to their children twice a week, with the rest of the surveyed parents reading to their children rarely or never. Another important discovery was that usually it is the mother in the family who does the reading.

Why is it so important to read to your children? For one thing, it’s a nice time of intimacy between you and your child in a very relaxed setting. It is optimum quality time. There are few memories that are cherished by your children, once they grow up, than those of having been read to at night.

During this time, you are able to choose what you want to put into their minds – whether it’s a bible story or just a classic tale which helps their imagination soar. It is said that the earlier you read to a child, the sooner, and with greater ease, they learn to read. By reading to your child, you also are endowing them with a love for books which, in today’s electronic world, is not a given.

In an article entitled, Reading To Your Child by Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert it says that reading should start young and be continued: “At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it’s still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers’ understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.”

Developing the habit of reading is important, and most children get great pleasure out of listening to many types of stories – sometimes over and over again. By dedicating time to read with your child, you are sending them the message that reading is important and beneficial.

Probably the most important reading you can do together is to read the Word of God with your children as a family. By doing so, they will come to understand that it is an integral part of their day. Encourage them to talk about what you’ve read and how it is relevant to their daily lives. You can really motivate your children to pick up the Word if you turn it into a daily habit. In fact, let them read it to you and the rest of the family.

Through your own enthusiasm of God’s Word and other books, you can stimulate your children and help them to develop a lifelong relationship with reading that will stay with them throughout their adult lives, giving them many moments of pleasure, important information and inspiration!

Don’t waste any time getting started, begin tonight!

This article was originally published on Makor HaTikvah.