3 Reasons why reading to your children is not just about learning—it can also create a stronger bond
I remember vividly being a very small child and watching my mother's facial expressions, her eyes, and especially her mouth when she read to me.
Happily for me, that was quite often. She would cast a spell and out of her mouth would come the most interesting and exciting things! I was guided to imagine all sorts of things—real and pretend—to step into visualizing a rich treasure of people, places and things I could learn, know or believe. I thought everything she chose to read was special and just for me.
When parents or adults gift their children with reading, there are so many wonderful benefits. First, as the recipient of loving attention and focused care, a child begins to feel and understand the ability to receive love and attention in a very positive way. To appreciate the receiving of love and care is a very important skill to have as an adult. Reading to a child can easily build self-esteem and strengthen the bonds of connection with adults in a way that simply talking never will. The feeling of being special to a child is such a valuable gift. Think about it: everybody talks. Mostly too much, and about themselves or problems. Who reads to you? Only someone very special who cares a lot about you.
It was accurately said once that "what a man's mind can conceive and believe, that man can do." So if having a strong imagination and a highly developed right brain (where emotions, imagination and unconscious mind are) is a valuable attribute (and it is) being verbally escorted through the magic, mystery, drama, thrills—and learning that accompany reading is a huge endowment to a child's future skill sets. Installing solid beliefs of confidence, personal strength, insight, belief, intelligence, competency, poise, and yes, even courage are part of the skill set you'd like your child to have—then read, read, read. It will teach them how to be curious and creative.
Finally, if you read to a child often enough, they come to have a certain awe of you as an adult—how much you know (that they clearly don't), how wise you are in the ways of so many things that are so new to the child ... and the fact that you, through reading and sharing your valuable time with them offering them what you know will make the child feel your love and respect and appreciate you for it. In fact, the building block of trust starts with respect, so reading often to a child can create the beginning of a life-long deference, respect of authority, and correct parent-child boundaries that will make them feel safe and self-assured as they grow up and explore the real world.