You’re probably concerned about your child’s “cognitive development.” And you want them to be prepared for school. These are big worries, but they might get pushed to the back burner when you’re dealing with all the other things that have to get done on a daily basis.
The truth is, you can make a huge difference in the way your child develops perception and understanding of his or her world. It’s not as overwhelming as it seems.
A study published in 2014 by researchers Guyonne Kalb and Jan C. van Ours entitled, “Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life” found “a positive association of parents reading to their child and the child’s subsequent reading skills, language skills, and cognitive development.” They also found that “Parents reading to their children may stimulate these children to read books themselves and further develop their cognitive skills.”
According to the International Conference on Early Childhood Care and Development, “Reading to children each day is one of the most beneficial ways in which a parent can promote literacy.”
We understanding, however, that a barrier to reading everyday is finding the time.
For time-strapped parents like you, here are four ways to help you incorporate reading into your, and your kids’, daily to-dos.
- Make reading part of your routine. Like anything else in your life, you’ve got to make reading part of your routine. Many parents find that reading to kids before bed gives the kids something to look forward to and is a great way to wind down at night.
- Schedule reading time. In the same way you schedule baseball and extracurricular activities, you can schedule time to read with your child. Start small and schedule 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. You’ll likely be surprised at how quickly the time will pass.
- Read where you are. Today, we live our lives on the move, but we still have time on the subway, waiting for the doctor, picking a sibling up from school, when we are waiting. Bring a book and use the time to read.
- Cut back on the screen time. We know this one can be scary, but it will pay dividends in the future. Instead of flipping through channels, flip through the pages of a book during the time you would usually spend watching television.
Perhaps it’s easy to dismiss activities like reading to your kids because time is tough to come by these days, but there’s simply too much to lose by not doing it. When it comes to reading to your kids, there’s no better time to start than now.
Which tip for incorporating more reading into your routine will you embrace? Tell us in the comments below and share with your friends and family so they can help you implement the change.