Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kids and Anxiety - How reading helps

It's such an old fashioned idea, but reading to your child at bedtime is still a very strong way to show your love and reduce anxiety. There are multiple benefits you may not have thought about -
  1. Settling down - It's quiet time, just before lights out, which helps settle them before sleep. This improves sleep quality and helps to eliminate bedtime dramas.
  2. Special attention - It provides one-on-one time, to perhaps discuss any concerns that pop up in the conversation. A child loves having your full attention, to themselves, in the privacy of their room. Make the most of it!
  3. Increased confidence - It substantially improves a child's vocabulary to hear the structure and language of stories. This translates to their own vocabulary as they increase their understanding of spoken words and incorporate them into their spoken language. The follow-on effect is becoming more articulate, allowing the child to express their concerns better and increasing their confidence.
  4. Improved School results - Children who read independently cope much better with the demands of school. The first step is being read to, and if the book is really exciting, they can't wait to get their eyes on it in the morning! Having a love of reading is the key to success in any area of endeavour, any career.
  5. Teaching values - It provides opportunities to share books with important morals and lessons. How else will children learn the values we treasure, such as honesty, sharing, cooperation, acceptance? There are hundreds of fabulous books which are not just written to entertain. Let's get back to books being fun and important social/cultural tools.
  6. Self-awareness - One of the things which worries kids most is the fear of being different, not accepted.Stories allow your child to identify with characters and perhaps feel less different from others.
  7. A big World - Books open up a child's mind, to the many amazing wonders of our world. In a book they can travel to distant places, even distant times in the past, learning, growing, understanding. 
  8. Understanding others - Stories help children see things from another's perspective. Truly great stories tell more than just a sequence of events, they tell a character's journey, whether it be physical or emotional.
So, why not enjoy some quality time with your child tonight? Don't let the cost turn you off either. There's plenty of second hand book websites, such as abebooks and book depository. You are investing in your child's future and enhancing your relationship. There's no downside!

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