Children’s Books and Their Future Influence
Reading is one of my favorite ways to spend a few free hours. I remember reading many stories with my mom and siblings as a little girl. Story time is special not only because of the closeness it fosters between parent and child, but the stories within the books can help children develop into bright, confident individuals with a good understanding of the world that they live in.
Here are just some of the wonderful benefits children can derive from reading.
1. Broad Understanding of the World
Children’s books have been written on lots of topics about people from all walks of life and in different situations. This vast array of information helps children to understand the world around them. This can be useful in that they widen their store of knowledge which both helps their understanding of the world, but also feeds their thirst for more knowledge. I remember how a book I read when I was about 10 years of age sparked a fascination with the Egyptian civilization which has endured to this day.
2. Active Imagination
Stories which require children to use their imagination can sometimes be frowned upon by adults who fear that their child will become a ‘daydreamer’. On the contrary, when children develop the ability to think creatively by using their imagination they are setting themselves up for success in the future as creative problem solvers. None of the great inventors throughout history made their inventions come to life by walking a common path. When children learn that thinking differently is good and useful they will gain confidence in their own problem-solving ability which is hugely beneficial as an adult.
3. Help to Understand Feelings
From a very young age, children learn to identify with the characters that they read about in books. They can be happy for the protagonist when they achieve a victory or may feel sad for them when something goes wrong. Even on this very basic level, reading stories to and with children helps them to identify which emotions go with different situations. Reading a book which deals with a difficult situation that the child themselves is facing can help them to feel less alone in their position. This is true of family breakdown, ill health and many other circumstances that children may find themselves in.
4. Promotes Acceptance of Difference
Reading books can be extremely beneficial in helping children to understand that there is great diversity in the world. As they empathize with the characters in the books, children who have been exposed to stories that explore different cultures and who have had an opportunity to discuss the themes within them, are more likely to grow up embracing diversity rather than being intimidated by it.
5. Builds Confidence
Storybooks can help children to develop a sense of their own place within the world and can foster resilience and self-confidence. Apart from the sense of achievement that children get by developing their reading skills and moving on to increasingly difficult books, the subject matter also helps them
to build confidence by developing a sense of security about who they are. For example, a child who is perhaps the only one of a particular race or religion in their class may derive comfort from stories which tell of other children who are the same as them. It helps them to see that their difference is not only okay but should be celebrated as perhaps it is in the book. This sense of security, much like the stories and characters themselves, can stay with children as they navigate the world which can be scary and unsettling at times helping them to grow into themselves with confidence.
These are just some of the benefits of reading for children. It is worth mentioning that sometimes children can be reluctant to engage in the practices that we promise are good for them. If your child rails against reading, for whatever reason, try to concentrate on the comfort, closeness, and fun of exploring stories together rather than on the task of promoting literacy. Reading story books should be fun above all else, so if you can help your child to fall in love with reading they will have a gift for life.
Author’s Bio: Susanne Loxton is an experienced writer with a passion for learning and education. On a daily basis, Susanne works for Aubiz, a compendium of knowledge about companies in her native Australia. Follow her on Twitter @LoxtonSusanne