Today our world is dominated by the internet and social media. Kids are following adults and are becoming super involved with gadgets and the visual media that the devices have to offer. While there is nothing wrong with watching age-appropriate content on the internet for the kids, overdoing this is hampering their growth and development. It is the responsibility of adults, especially the parents, to develop habits and instill hobbies in their kids that will last a lifetime and will help the kids wade through the ups and downs of life.
Reading is one such hobby; if developed successfully from the very childhood will stay with your child for the entire life will help your kid lead a better life. The onus of inculcating the reading habit in a child lies on the parents’ shoulders. A child is like a sponge, they will absorb everything that is going around them and imitate it. So if as a parent you are watching a lot of telly, your child will imitate you and start watching television. This means that when your child is showing interest in your smartphone and demanding to watch videos on streaming services, he/she is imitating what they are seeing around them. Watching videos is fun and learning, and there is no doubt about it, but it is not a hobby that will last a lifetime.
Researches have shown that having hobbies is vital to lead a healthy life. Hobbies are great for mental health as they keep you mentally active and involved when you are free and reduce the stress levels when you are super busy. Gardening, exercising, crafts, etc., are all excellent hobbies, but they are not appropriate for young kids. You cannot teach a toddler to garden, or for that matter, you can’t teach them to exercise, but you can read to kids of all ages. Reading is perhaps the only activity that is safe for kids of all ages, from infants to toddlers to teenagers.
To inculcate the habit of reading, it is imperative that you read to them from a very young age. You can read to kids of all ages. In fact, when you read to infants, it helps in the development of their cognitive and linguistic abilities. When you start reading to your kids at a very early age, they will be introduced to reading before they are introduced to technology. Thus there is a substantial chance that they will pick this hobby and hold on to it for their life.
Moreover, when you are reading to your kids, you are leading by example. In the eyes of a kid, parents are the ultimate superheroes who can do no wrong. This feeling will always motivate them to imitate you, and when you are reading, they will follow your footsteps and start reading.
So parents develop the bedtime story ritual for your kids and read to them. By reading with them, you are gifting them a creative life and a lifelong companion in the form of books.