Our children are growing up in a much different environment than we did. With the internet growing and social media becoming more prominent, but one thing remains the same, the benefits of reading are integral to our children’s success as they go through school, and life.

While the younger generation is spending the majority of their time in front of a screen, reading a novel for entertainment seems to be something of the past. Although the internet is a great tool for research and learning, it doesn’t have the same benefits as picking up a physical book and reading. There are many benefits of reading that we, as parents, have a duty to promote in our children’s lives.

We’re going to discuss 7 benefits of reading that are important to reveal to our children that not only helps them be successful in school, but they also help develop basic skills such as problem solving and expressing their feelings in a productive manner.

Without Further Ado, Let’s Explore The Benefits of Reading:

Reading Exercises Your Brain

Just like our bodies, if our brains don’t get exercise, it gets lazy. The term “use it or lose it” describes this perfectly. Reading gives the brain a chance to work out, and to be used in a different way than in its usual day-to-day activity. Reading is the ultimate workout for the brain, while we’re reading we’re learning new things which stimulates our brain, and gives it something to do rather than daydream. Keeping the brain active and engaged will prevent its loss of power, as well as keep it young and engaged for years to come.

Pro Tip

Explain to your child how their brain is just like their body, and they need to use it to keep it healthy and happy.

Reading Strengthens Analytical Thinking

Children are constantly learning new things throughout their daily interactions. Whether they’re at school, playing with friends, participating in sports teams or doing other extracurricular activities, young people are discovering how to interact with one another. Children learn how to problem solve through having siblings, friends, teachers and parents to guide them, reading is another influence that strengthens problem solving skills. By reading novels and stories, we develop ideas on how to deal with problems, and expand the way we think about the world. Young people are constantly having new experiences, and reading can help make sense of them.

Pro Tip

Ask your children to read a variety of genres of books, such as mystery, and comedic novels. This will give them different approaches to help with daily interactions.

Reading Helps Focus the Brain

The dichotomy of screen time is that it allows us to multitask, but multitasking too much or too often can shorten our attention span and be damaging to our concentration. Say you’re reading an ebook on your tablet, and all of a sudden a Facebook notification pops up, this distracts your mind from the task at hand and redirects your attention to a different subject. Although in modern times multitasking is seen as a skill, sometimes it can actually be harmful to the task at hand. When you read, your brain is focused on the story, it is storing information and analyzing the text so that you can understand it fully. With a physical book in your hands, and your smartphone and laptop put away, your brain is allowed to focus on one thing, reading. This can help focus the brain for other tasks, such as school work. For children who have a hard time focusing, or have been showing signs of ADHD, reading can help calm their mind and get their brain and body ready to focus.

Pro Tip

If your child suffers from an attention disorder, ask them to read for 10 minutes before bed, or before school, it could help calm them down and get them ready to concentrate.  

Reading Strengthens Memory

While you’re reading, your brain retains lots of information. Having to remember all the characters, and fine details in the plot may come naturally, this is a good sign and helps with long term memory. All this information helps with brain functionality and critical thinking while the plot is uncovered. This comes back to exercising the brain.

Pro Tip

Talk to your child about the book they’re reading, ask them to explain the plot or talk about their favourite character. This will strengthen their comprehension of the book and help get them excited about reading.

 Reading Improves your Imagination

While we read, our imagination soars and builds the world we are reading about. Using our imagination helps us determine what is possible and it develops our creativity. For children with wild imaginations, this can help inspire their creativity and engage them in exterior activities such as art work, writing, and designing.

Pro Tip

For younger children, ask them to draw while you’re reading to them. This will enhance their creativity and get them thinking actively about the book.

Reading is a Great Way to Spend Time with your Kids

Reading to your kids, or reading the same book as them is a great way to spend quality time together. Having an activity to do with your kids is important for bonding and building an intellectual relationship. Reading together will engage your kids in active communication, joking and having fun together will further your connection and will last for years to come.

Pro Tip

Reading to your child before bed, asking your child to read to you, or reading the same book as your child will strengthen your relationship. Talking about the book after each chapter will develop language skills and further your position as someone your children can talk to.

Vocabulary Expansion

This benefit may seem obvious, the more we read the more words we acquire for our personal vocabulary. But it’s not just about knowing fancy words, it’s about acquiring the ability to express our feelings with the proper words. Reading doesn’t necessarily give us the ability to communicate better, but it does give us the tools to get our point across. For children, it’s important to be able to know their feelings and be able to express what they’re feeling.

Pro Tip

Challenge your child by asking them to read higher level novels or articles to further their vocabulary and challenge them mentally.