Reading stories and short poems for kids aloud to your children is a critical step in teaching your child to read, but it has a wonderful hidden benefit as well. When you take the time to read to your children you are taking time with them, with no distractions, no cell phone, no computer, no TV. You are showing them that they are an important priority for you. They will love that special time with you, no matter their age.
Many of our read aloud story times have led to some great heart to heart discussions. Reading stories together gives us time to slow down and a reason to talk about things that maybe we wouldn’t on a day to day basis. Stories are a wonderful way to teach life lessons, reinforce good choices, model positive morals and open the door to talk about life’s difficulties such as sickness or death, dating or peer pressure.
As your children get older and you move into more challenging reading material they will benefit greatly from the discussions that will arise during your story time. Keep communication lines open with your children by simply reading to them. The relationship and communication that your family read aloud times will establish can carry you through what could be some very tough teenage years.
There is simply something magical about stories. We are all drawn into them, no matter our age. Sometimes my older child doesn’t feel like joining in our reading times because he’s too busy listening to music or on his iPod, but inevitably, as we get into the story he is drawn into the room from wherever he was. He can’t help but listen – and usually sits down with us to hear the rest of the story.
Institute a story night in your home this week, and if your older children roll their eyes at you just smile, they will learn to love that special time with you.