By SARAH ABRAHAM-OWOSENI
Reading to and with children is a topic I often talk and write about and this is because reading plays a very important role in the development of young children. It creates a love for learning and ultimately boosts their critical thinking skills. With all the benefits reading offers for your children, why haven’t you started reading with them? The idea behind this post is to hear from you and understand the challenges that you have with respect to reading with your children and to be able to identify workable solutions for your circumstance.
“Reading plays a very important role in the development of young children. It creates a love for learning and ultimately boosts their critical thinking skills.” – Olukemi Sarah
At the very moment, are you totally satisfied with your children’s love for learning? On one hand there are parents who are glad that their children love reading. If that is you, I’m happy because we can still take their love for learning to the next level since that is one of the roles parents play (supporting children to do better). Without putting pressure on your children and on yourself, they should only compete with themselves and not with others. Comparing children with other children usually results in a competitive spirit and it reduces the value that you place on them creating a low self-esteem for them. Help your child improve based on where he/she is and not be caught in the competition drama.
“Comparing children with other children usually results in a competitive spirit and it reduces the value that you place on them creating a low self-esteem for them.” – Olukemi Sarah
On the other hand, your child may not like reading at all and this may be the result of not being exposed yet to the world of books and reading. It’s good to tell children to read but have your children seen you read as well? It just may be a goal for the entire family because any activity is more meaningful to children when they have observed it being done by others. Instead of ordering children to read, let them observe you do it from a place of enjoyment rather than coercion. Reading should be a delight and never a forced activity.
I recall when I was in JSS3 (Grade 9) in secondary school, and on one particular day, I found my very good friend reading a book. At that time, some of us read books but what we read wasn’t always healthy (In my reading course, I share about print safety for children). It’s very likely you have read or come across the book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. On that afternoon, I found my friend reading ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’ and that kept me awed and dazed because she was enjoying the book and she wasn’t even forced, we were in the boarding school. No wonder she was always one of the best performing students throughout when we were students in secondary school and that is why I am so in love with reading to children. It creates independence, curiosity and initiative in learning.
“Instead of ordering children to read, let them observe you do it from a place of enjoyment rather than coercion. Reading should be a delight and never a forced activity.” – Olukemi Sarah
Adults sometimes struggle with developing new habits but this is very different with children. I love this quote so much: ‘The first 5 years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out’. Development experts agree that the brain develops so fast in the first few years of life and that is why we cannot afford to joke with the early childhood years. We need to support children to thrive and one of the easiest ways we can do this is reading with them. Right now is a good time to start, please do now. If there are circumstances preventing you from reading yet, please share them in the comment section.
In case you are yet to read my guide on How to Raise Smart Children, you can click the link below to get it. If you have read it before and you are yet to go through it, this would be a good time to read it again and implement the 5 steps I shared that can help you get started on the journey.
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Also, I would be opening up my reading course shortly: Raising Super Intelligent Children: How to Raise Self-directed, and Inquisitive Children Through Reading Without Future Concerns for Learning.
Please watch out for it. When you download the Smart Kid Guide, you will be the first to know. My name is Sarah and I am rooting for you.
Sarah Abraham-Owoseni is an Early Childhood Educator and Parenting Coach. She helps parents raise children with core skills and godly values to form a strong foundation for life. She is the Children Development Director at Young Breeds Children and Youth Development Centre which houses Young Breeds Development Initiative and Young Breeds Schools where she serves as the co-founder and Centre Director