The Joy Of Reading With Your Child

Posted: April 17, 2016

Reading with your child can be a very rewarding thing – stoking the imagination, the fun of discovering new worlds, and most of all, bonding with your child.

A lazy weekend and nothing like reading a good book sitting besides the window. At the backdrop is a setting sun painting the horizon in shades of orange, peach and red. Sitting glued to me is my ‘little one’ who was busy fixing a jigsaw ‘Gruffalo’ puzzle.

The moment it occurred to her that I am reading, she brings ‘The World of Peter Rabbit’ that has a compilation of 23 books with amazing characters like Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, Benjamin Bunny, Mr Tod, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton tail, Mr McGregor and so on. These characters don’t only exist in these books but are a part of our family and every day conversations. The moment I mention that roti-sabzi is Peter Rabbit’s favourite food she happily eats her meal.

I was amazed and watched her with love and admiration, my daughter emulating me, made me feel not less than a superstar! The way she was flipping the pages, reading every page commencing with One day…(she is only 3 and cannot read). She was busy rummaging through all those 23 books and then neatly placing them in the box. Then she got some more books and insisted me to read them to her.

I did the reading; she was seated in my lap and holding my hands and we were reading; bonding at every level. Very recently I noticed that she has been relating the characters from her books to real life; the rabbits in the zoo are Peter Rabbit and his family, every duck is Jemima Puddle Duck to her, an adult animal is always a Mummy to her and an infant is the baby. The other day she saw a big fat rodent and told me that it was Samuel Whiskers and we need to lock our fridge and cupboard doors as it may steal our food and tear our clothes; needless to say we did that and she felt secure.

We as parents were always very keen on buying books for her rather than toys and have a small library at home, a mix of newly bought and some second hand books. It is not only English but we work hard to read to her in Marathi and Hindi, our first languages. Every parent dreams of a fantastic world for their children and introducing them to books is one step towards it; best advisers, best friends and best companions.

Some of my observations on benefits of reading to children:

  • Children who are often read from a young age develop good vocabulary and phonics.
  • It improves their imagination ability and helps them to be more articulate.
  • They become good at reasoning, questioning and logical thinking.
  • Fantasy books and fairy tales help them to understand good and evil, friend and foe at their levels.
  • The bond that you develop with your child by reading and narrating stories goes further – snuggling in the bed reading their favourite stories is a magical experience.
  • Inculcating love for books is like introducing them to a relationship that will never die; books are friends forever.
  • Sitting in a place and attentively listening will help to develop grasping and concentration abilities in your child.
  • It is pleasure to see that a child is engrossed in books rather than watching cartoons or playing video games; outdoor activities are must for body and reading is a mandate for brain and soul.
  • Do not be surprised if your child comes up with his/her own story – they are developing their creativeness.
  • It feels terrific when your child comes to you to listen to stories and read a book other than for toys and materialistic stuff.

There are many more advantages of reading. You will enjoy seeing their bright and happy faces when you read and narrate a story.

Together, we have also scripted a few stories; Aaji (grandma) and Fox, Aadhya and Mowgli, Aaji – Aadhya and Jemima Puddle Duck are a few to name. More than her, I enjoy the entire process of weaving a story for her.

Not sure about what she would inherit from us (parents) but we would like to gift her knowledge and wisdom through the beautiful world of books and stories that cannot be stolen, sold nor bought.

Image source: reading with your child by Shutterstock.

I have always loved writing and strongly believe that writing can create social awareness . I

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