Bedtime stories are posed for a resurgence armed with greater purpose, aside from simply stoking the fires of children’s imaginations with magical lands, beautiful fairies, and vicious dragons.
A recently established policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of the foremost governing bodies concerning dependable pediatrics in Flint and elsewhere in the U.S., is encouraging doctors to stress upon parents the benefits of reading with their children. Speaking to a representative of the academy, The Courier Journal’s Darla Carter reports:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently adopted a policy that early literacy development be promoted at health care visits, from infancy until at least when the children start school.
Reading regularly with young children stimulates the optimal patterns of brain development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.
Some of the benefits of reading to children are further explained as follows:
Academic excellence – Reading to children early improves the latter’s aptitude for learning in general. Also, according to educator and book author Jim Trelease, reading to a child is vastly different from a typical conversation, as literature is much more educational than spoken language (which is often tainted). The premise here is fairly intuitive: greater vocabulary equals greater academic advantage.
Better communication skills – Toddlers who were read to tend to be much more vocal, expressing themselves and relating to others more readily than those who didn’t receive the same treatment. This is in part due to them having witnessed the interactions between characters in a story, as well as the parent-child contact during story time, and adopting what they saw accordingly.
Greater bonding – Reading with children is a way for overly busy parents to catch up and deal with the guilt they experience for missing special moments with their young ones. Also, reading gradually exposes children to more mature topics in a much safer space. In these situations, parents are often the clingiest ones, as they will forever remember the times when their babies were innocent little angels trying to make headway into the world.
Recognizing these benefits, it’s a no-brainer that the AAP is encouraging doctors from centers of pediatric care in Flint, like Michigan Health Specialists, to entice parents to read to their children. After all, they’re the ones next in line, and any nation could surely use an educated generation taking over the reins in the future.
(Sources: Pediatricians to Stress Family Reading Time, The Courier-Journal, July 21, 2014)