Reading bedtime stories to little ones is an intimate moment to bond. But the benefits of such an activity extend beyond stronger familial relationships. It can improve their quality of life and increase their likelihood of success later on.
Here are four studies that prove it:
1. It Boosts Their Vocabulary Even Before They Enter Elementary
Parents need not wait until their kids are old enough to communicate before they start buying from an online bookstore in Singapore.
In a 2017 study, the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that reading during infancy could encourage better language and vocabulary skills within four years. Considering other factors such as socioeconomic differences, they discovered that:
- The quality of book reading right after birth correlated to early reading skills.
- A link exists between the number of books read and the quality of book reading to literacy skills. Four-year-olds, for example, could already write their name.
Even before they begin elementary, children exposed to books and reading may be more effective communicators than their peers.
2. Reading at Home Helps Children Prepare Themselves to School
The learning process of a child doesn’t end or remain four-walled rooms. It also happens when parents read books to their kids.
In 2015, the University of Stavanger researchers cited how kids whose parents seldom read books to them at an early age fared worse than their counterparts. The reason is simple: reading improves vocabulary.
When a child has an extensive vocabulary, they can understand better while at school. They can also follow or keep up with the lessons.
But how in-depth can this vocabulary be? An Ohio State University study has the answer. According to the research, kids whose parents read to them at least five books every day must have heard over 1 million words by the time they enter kindergarten.
3. It Helps Improve Children’s Behaviour
Are the kids throwing more tantrums the past few days? Perhaps all they need is a 20-minute book reading with their parents. In a 2019 Rutgers University study, the researchers associated this activity with less harsh parenting. Children were also less disruptive or hyperactive.
Granted, reading time may improve the relationship between parents and their kids. It may also decrease the stress levels of adults.
But it can also promote emotion regulation in children, which may translate to academic success later. This was the finding of a 2007 study involving over 300 5-year-old children.
Based on the analysis of the researchers, well-behaved could be more productive while in school. They could also be more independent and motivated, as well as capable of building stronger relationships with their teachers.
How to Find Time to Read with Kids
In Singapore, many parents work for over 40 hours a week, which makes scheduling reading time at home challenging. They may get over this hump with these tips:
- Increase reading time by increments. The ideal reading time is at least 20 minutes a day. As both parents and kids get used to the practice, moms and dads can adjust this duration in increments. For example, they can begin with 10-minute reading for a week, then add five more minutes a week after.
- Combine quality with quantity. Parents can make books more accessible to children so they may learn to read by themselves. They can also encourage kids to read aloud to them on certain nights.
Reading to and with children at home comes with difficulties, but with consistency, it pays off well later.