We all know the sound benefits of early literacy: better academic performance, critical thinking, problem solving, improved creativity and the like. But did you know that reading to your child has other benefits? Is your kid having a tough time at school? Are they unhappy or sad? Reading time with your child can actually boost their emotional state and increase their sense of happiness and well-being!
Avid readers have known for a long time that reading makes you happier. Reading a good book enhances your life and improves your mental state. It helps you to relax, de-stress and escape from the pressures of daily life.
A book is an “experiential product,” which means that when you buy, borrow or otherwise invest in a book, you are investing in an experience rather than a thing. Experiences enrich our lives in ways that things do not.
Longer Term Enrichment
When you purchase a new piece of clothing, for example, you get enjoyment out of it, but the enjoyment is only temporary. The clothing loses its luster after one or two wears. When new, it makes you feel good, but then it just becomes another article in the closet.
Experiences, on the other hand, stay with us. When you engage in reading time with your child, you are helping them to develop new thoughts, new outlooks and new ideas that will stick with them, possibly for years to come or even their entire life.
Meditation and Relaxation
Getting absorbed in a book has a similar effect to meditation or relaxing trance. It helps to clean your mind of clutter, removes stress, and helps you focus so when you eventually put the book down, you’re better able to face the world.
There is even a school of therapy, called bibliotherapy, which uses this exact approach. As far back as ancient Greece, libraries were known as places of healing for the soul, and your reading time is no different.
You’re Not Alone
Reading a book with your child can give them the sense that they are not alone in the world. Other people go through the same experiences and feel the same things as they do. As your child listens to a story and eventually learns to read on their own, they will identify with the characters they encounter. This will help to improve their psychological and emotional well-being.
The world doesn’t seem quite as dark when you realize that others have dealt with similar problems as you. Characters in books become valuable friends and compatriots on our journeys and help us to build and develop our outlook on life.
The next time they feel sad or down, you can help kids by talking out the problem, then choosing a book for reading time with your child that applies to their situation, or even that just allows them to escape from life for a while. Interactive eBooks like “Seeing Beyond the Obvious” can be a great way to involve your child in reading and get started on building their positive imaginative experiences. Give it a shot, then look at the other early literacy tools we have available!