Taking the time to read with your children daily cannot be underestimated. Children love learning. They are curious beings and their minds soak everything up easily and effortlessly. They are like little sponges. As parents or carers, it is our responsibility to nurture and instil this love of learning which includes a love of reading, in our children. It’s never too early to start and in fact, the earlier the better. Babies may not be able to speak but their brains grow and develop rapidly. The Brain is the power house of the body. It needs to be used and stimulated to function optimally. Have you heard the old adage, use it or lose it?
My childhood reading setbacks had long lasting consequences.
I am passionate about immersing children in the world of books. This passion has grown from my own childhood experiences. As a little girl I wasn’t exposed to books and the joy of reading. The lifestyle was very much an outdoors one; riding on bikes and playing with the neighbourhood kids which was a lot of fun. However, when I started school, I found learning very difficult. Learning to read became a chore. I didn’t like it and hence I didn’t want to spend time reading. It wasn’t enjoyable for me and so my struggles continued. I ended up having to repeat year one of primary school because I was behind my peers. This quashed my already shaky confidence and shattered my world. I had little to no belief in myself as a person. I stored the feelings of ‘shame’ and ‘not being good enough’ in my body for a very long time. Today, I am grateful I have made peace with my childhood reading difficulties. The journey though, has been a long soul searching one.
Do you have a child or know of a child who finds reading difficult? You’re not alone. Many children struggle with learning how to read. The important thing is to recognise that there may be a problem and to do something about it. Sitting on the fence is not an option. It requires action. If reading to your child has not been a regular routine for you, then make it one. It’s better to make a start than never start at all. Yes, it requires a commitment on your part; a small amount of time each day but it could be the difference between your child struggling and thriving in many areas of their life.
What could have been?
Things may have turned out differently had my parents read to me as a child but there is no use dwelling on what could have been. Do I blame them for my childhood reading difficulties? Certainly not. They did their best with what they knew at the time and for that, I am very grateful. Did they have the resources available to them that parents have today? Definitely not.
Parents are lucky. There is a lot more knowledge, experience and programs around on the subject of children learning how to read. How empowering is this? It enables you as a parent to do some research and reach out for help if you need it. You are your children’s greatest teacher. You know your children better than anyone else which puts you in the perfect position to be able to help them. Be a part of the solution rather than handing it over completely to a school teacher or outside source. Ideally, a love of reading should start and be nurtured within the home.
My message to you.
I encourage you all to read with your children daily. Give them one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child; a love of reading and what goes with it – confidence, curiosity, a sense of wonder and excitement about our world and the magnificent realm of the imagination. The benefits are huge. You are empowering your children each and every time you sit down and read with them. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I know there are many distractions around today and it can be challenging to find some quiet time to sit down and read with your children but I promise you, it’s worth it.
Stay tuned, there’s lots more to come! Would love to hear your comments.