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Gift the Reading Habit

March 25, 2012

Gift the Reading Habit

Gift the Reading Habit

The habit of reading can be a lifetime gift for your child.

Impressionable minds can be nurtured and molded in ways more than one. But books and the printed word are among the best tools used for reaching out to a child. Despite the deep penetrating reach of the visual media, books have a definite edge over other mediums of communication and entertainment. Child psychologists and counselors have often stressed the importance of the reading habit in modern-day children. However, it is quite obvious that the book culture is on the decline. Parents need to resurrect this habit as it adds multiple dimensions to a child’s growth.

• As books are good portable friends, which have the potential of engaging a child’s mind, they can broaden the sphere of experience. A quick read of the adventures of Sindbad, or Alibaba or Robin Hood transports the child to different worlds. He or she can relate to new and thrilling experiences, quite different from everyday happenings. The variety in the book reading is bound to reflect in the child’s knowledge.

• Reading sharpens the thought processes of a child. It increases his or her attention span. It gives him the faculty of thinking and understanding.

• Language is a gift for a child and books give this gift in abundance. Reading a book aloud can be a good exercise not just for memorization but also for improvement of speech and vocabulary. Books trigger a child’s imagination.

• Bedtime reading is considered the best quality time spent with a kid. Psychiatrists feel that bedtime reading helps to build strong bonding with the child.

The printed word is not the sole reservoir of knowledge. Television, Internet and other modern audio-visual media also contribute to the child’s growth. However, reading should compliment other mediums. Otherwise, it leads to lopsided development. Just consider these shocking statistics. A 1998 survey of American children showed that 54 per cent chose to watch television when given the options of either watching TV and being with parents. The average American child (between two to 11 years of age) spends around 1,197 minutes per week watching television. Closer home, Indian children fare no better than their American counterparts. Doctors have found that children suffered because of the habit of eating during television time. Children have missed exams and outdoor sports due to their favorite teleserials. TV time also takes its toll on children’s eyesight.

It is never too late for your child to start reading. Preferably, catch the child young. Bring him other colorful books, so that reading becomes a favorite pastime. The parent has also got to read enough in order to become a model for the little one. And not to forget, family reading is the best way to grow. Ever remember your initial sessions with your grandma!

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