Like you, I want my children to be many things: healthy, kind, generous, courageous… and topping that incredibly long list, is for them to be smart and happy.
Smart and Happy. Seems pretty simple, I guess. Just do your homework, listen to your teachers, and don’t be a jerk.
If only it were that easy.
This Habit Helps Raise Smart and Happy Kids
Well, perhaps it is. I have learned there is a way you can make an enormous deposit into that Kind and Smart Bank every day of their little lives. In fact, you’ve probably been doing it most days.
Not only does it work, but it’s so very easy to do.
It’s going to take you 15 minutes and it’s time well spent.
The answer? It’s reading out loud. But wait, before you say to yourself, “OK got it, moving on.” I want to explain why.
What Happens When You Read Out Loud To Your Kids Every Day
1. They have a better vocabulary. When parents read to their kids, those little ones show up to Kindergarten having heard 1.4 million more words than kids whose parents didn’t read to them. This study showed these kids picked up reading skills far quicker and easier.
2. They behave better in school. This study found that parents reading aloud from birth – five years old, reduced hyperactivity at school. The kids also longer attention span.
3. Their brains grow. I love this information from CNN that the more you read, the more the neurons in their brain grow.
4. They become more empathetic. Empathy is is the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes and understand what they are going through. Through stories, kids are able to see many different perspectives and examine the world through other people’s eyes.
5. It’s good for mom, too! “Mothers who read frequently with their children also reported fewer disruptive behaviors from their children.”
All of this research leads to one, overwhelming conclusion: The simple act of sitting down with your children and a book, has huge benefits.
What If My Child Doesn’t Like Books?
The key is to start from the moment their born. Yes, that early! So they will always know books as a part of their life.
My son, however, loved books as a baby and toddler, but quickly grew out of it. Why? I don’t quite understand. But, if you have a child that isn’t a book lover, I completely get you!
Research shows kids all agree on one thing: that they love books that make them laugh.
My trick to getting kids to sit down with me for some reading time, is a good giggle.
Funny Book Suggestions
- The Try Not To Laugh Challenge
- My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
- Where Is My Butt?
- The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet!
So get to reading, parents! It will help your kids, you, and be an around win for your family.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.