Family Magazine

Why Reading is Crucial for Child Development

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum


Why Reading is Crucial for Child Development



I don’t know if you have noticed it, but children have this strange habit that they insist on maintaining: They grow. I have a 13 year old cousin back in my hometown in New York. Last time I saw him, he was nine or so, and was the height of a standard child of that age. When I saw him this last time around, he wasn’t just taller than me, he was so outrageously tall I was ready to draft him onto my fantasy NBA team.

Apart from the physical growth, there is another way that children grow, and that is intellectually. At least they should be growing this way. This doesn’t come as naturally as the growth in height however. Barring some sort of genetic disorder, children are always going to sprout. Yet the mental growth does require some spurring on, from teachers, peers and most importantly parents. One of the most important things a parent can do to get a child excited about learning and to ensure intellectual growth is to teach a child to read. For many parents, it’s an understandably trying task. But it is essential. Teaching your child to read at an early age has the potential to improve the quality of your child’s life exponentially.

Scholastic Achievement
One of the most obvious ways in which a child’s literacy is crucial to a child’s development is the fact that it will greatly help a child succeed in school. The school itself will help in this process to be sure, but to rely strictly on the school to teach your child to read would not prove beneficial. There are an alarming number of children who go through every year in the public school system but still are unable to read at an adult level. Ideally, a child should already start learning to read before entering school. Every study on the subject concludes that children that start reading in their preschool years develop a higher aptitude for learning and a more potent thirst for knowledge. Children that possess some reading skills will have an accelerated ability to understand concepts in other subjects, such as math and science.

Fostering a Love of Learning
Apart from simply being able to understand these concepts, children who start reading at a young age are more like to want to understand these concepts. Studies have shown that children who are exposed are much more excited to learn other things in the future. That’s why it is important to make the reading process as fun as you possibly can. Don’t turn it into homework for your child; don’t set strict goals. The best thing you can possibly do is just turn reading into a family activity where everyone takes turns. Let your child flaunt his or her skills and offer a reward. As a result, a young child will associate learning with being a fun activity, not a chore. Such a child will be curious and eager to learn about new concepts as he or she progresses in age. In today’s world, curiosity is only a virtue.

Avoiding Idle Hands
Children who learn to read at an early age are also less likely to get in trouble with the law later in life. That’s because, many child psychologists believe, that if a child feels that a good, clean activity like reading is fun, they are less likely to cause excessive mischief and mayhem as an alternative. Now, some would argue that a modicum of mischief and mayhem is actually healthy for a child. Whether or not that’s the case, there is an interesting link between illiteracy and future criminal activity. Across the racial and socioeconomic spectrum, the illiteracy rate is higher in prisons than it is outside of prisons.

Teaching your child to read will prove to be rewarding to your child, and you as well. There is no greater thrill for a parent than to see their child succeeding in some capacity. Why not have your children succeed in a field that will help to ensure future success?

Author Bio: Maria Hughes is a children’s book enthusiast and online publisher for who writes on the topics of reading and parenting.

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