Frontiers are always changing and advancing, borders are all man-made and more often than not are in our minds. As adults, we are set in our ways and are reluctant to question the things around us and are ok with not challenging the norms even when we do not like it. If you want your kids not to end up believing the same things as you do, teach them to question the given. The easiest way to do is read to them. Reading stories to kids from a very young age makes them imaginative, empathetic, innovative, happy individuals.
According to the US Department of Education, helping your child in becoming a reader is the most critical thing that a parent can do in helping a child learn at school and in life ahead. Developing a reading habit in your kids will take dedication and patience from the parents’ side. You simply cannot inculcate the reading habit overnight by talking about it or by reading a few stories to them. To encourage your kids to read, you will have to lead by example. You will have to read to them when they are very young, and as they grow up, as parents, you will have to allocate some time every day where everybody in the family reads together. This will lead to forming a lifetime hobby for your kids.
Reading forces the child to look at a situation in multiple ways. This means when you read to your child, you are essentially unleashing their power to think and question. A cartoon series may be based on a book, but what you see is the visualization of the creator. But if you were to read the same book to your child rather than show it to them, they would imagine it differently based on their expectations and experiences. The difference between imagination and someone else visualization is the key to bringing up an innovative, imaginative child.
We do not live our lives in isolation, and the same goes for our kids. When we read about different worlds, people, cultures, and traditions to them, we are training them to be accepting and well-adjusted individuals even in the face of changes and uncertainty. A child is brought up in a family with a specific value system, but this doesn’t mean that other value systems that the child is not familiar with are wrong. They are just different, and when you read to your child and encourage them to read once they grow older, you are gifting them the power to accept people as they are and adjusting to life situations without losing themselves.
A child who reads would be an adult who thinks. Enable your child to think by instilling the reading habit from a very young age, and this isn’t very difficult to achieve. Read to your child when they are very young, have plenty of age-appropriate reading material in your house once they learn to read on their own, encourage them to use the library, incentivize reading by getting new books, and by discussing what they are reading. I would like to end this by quoting Napoleon Bonaparte, ‘Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.’ We must all aim to be this kind of a family.