I don’t think I brag about my son William any more than average. I try not to. Of course, because he is mine, I think he’s the most special person on this earth. But every parent feels that way about their kids, right? But if I may take this moment, I will say that he appears to be a very intelligent kid. Time will tell of course (he’s only 16 months), but I truly believe that reading to him daily has already greatly affected him in a positive way.
This is nothing new: there are countless news articles citing the advantages of reading to your children from a young age. Most pediatricians recommend it. But I wanted to share a little personally about what we as a family have gotten out of reading to our son, and vice versa.
We love that William loves books. He flips through them in the car, we bring some to restaurants with us to keep him entertained while we wait. We have baskets of books all over the house.
My husband and I are both lovers of books and always have been. My parents tell stories of catching me as a child reading under my covers, hours after lights out. When I was pregnant for the first time and started buying things for our new baby, children’s books got me particularly excited. When William was born, and we brought him home from the hospital, we started reading to him right away. And, we still read every single day.
Here are a few of specific benefits we’ve personally experienced as a result of reading to our son regularly:
1. He’s a very verbal child. Now, my husband and I were both chatter boxes as kids, so some of this may be hereditary, but we’ve found that William is very verbal for his age. He hears us read to him and often attempts to repeat the words. He can say at least approximate versions of the words “outside” “milk” “bath time” “banana,” and several others, and it is so helpful that he can often tell us what he wants.
2. It introduces him to new things. William doesn’t really watch TV, which I’m usually happy about (although it would be nice to be able to park him in front of a show to get a few moments to myself once in a while). Books are his window into the world. They are how he has learned animal sounds and discovered a very deep love for cars and trucks. Every time a car drives by he says, “Vrrrooom!” He learned that from one of his books that is all about different kinds of vehicles. It’s amazing the things that kids pick up from books. Sometimes he’ll recognize something or attempt to say a word that we have not actively been teaching him, and it will take us a minute before we say, “Oh, you know, I think that’s in Little Blue Truck!”
3. It’s a great bonding experience. We love reading to William. He will often pick a book and crawl into our laps with it. It provides snuggle time with him that we don’t otherwise get, since he’s such a squirmy little guy most of the time. It’s something we get to share with him.
I hope this post inspires you to read a little more with your little ones, at every age. It has been such a rewarding part of our lives with our baby. Happy reading!