This post originally appeared on Perfection Pending.
Sometimes, I’m trying to do 100 things at once. I’m cleaning, cooking, reading, giving advice, trying to keep myself healthy, saving my children from disaster… you know, just the regular stuff. But every once in a while, one of my kids wanders up to me with a book in his hand, or interrupts me while I’m getting some work done to ask if I’ll read to her. If I possibly can, I say yes. I drop almost anything to read to my kids. Why? Why is it so important to me that I would read to my kids any time they ask?
Because I love reading.
Because they love reading.
Because reading is for every age.
Because reading makes them smarter.
Because reading means you have to slow down.
Because reading to them won’t last forever.
Because reading is a pleasure that can transport them to another world.
Because reading is a way to connect with them.
Because reading opens their eyes to new experiences, ideas, and points of view.
Because reading is a joy that begins early.
Because reading is fun.
Because reading to them means getting a snuggle, too.
Because reading is something I can do with all of my kids at the same time.
Because reading creates time together.
Because reading makes them laugh.
Because reading makes me laugh.
Because reading makes me cry.
Because reading helps them learn about emotions.
Because reading to them turns into reading with them.
Because reading with them turns into them reading to me.
I’ll drop anything to pick up a book and read with my children. That time with them is special, and fleeting. I know from my years of teaching that almost any age of children love to be read to, but I also know that when they get older and busier, that time becomes harder to carve out. So right now, while they’re little, while they bring me books while I’m folding laundry, I’ll read to them. I’ll gladly let the laundry wait to have a snuggle and a book with my kids.
Research has shown that reading to children for at least 20 minutes every day can increase their reading abilities early on, increase their exposure to language and larger vocabularies, improve their attitudes towards reading for school, and increase their likelihood to graduate from high school on time, and go on to receive a higher education degree. Those reasons should be enough for parents to spend the time with their kids reading each day, but when you couple that with extra snuggles, quality time, and getting to hear their cute (or let’s be honest: hilarious!) thoughts on the stories and characters? I’m sold. My kids have the best questions and silliest ideas after we read books together. I would never want to miss out on that. I get to peek inside their minds for a minute when we discuss what the books are about. I get such good opportunities to talk with them about things we would never think of to say. Reading with your kids is a great way to get to know them a little bit better. Don’t miss out on it. It makes a difference for all of you.