Some of my earliest memories as a child involved my mother taking me to our local library. Hand-in-hand my mother guided my sister and I through the library doors ready to fill our bags with books for the week. Once our bags were full, we were ready to head home to start reading. However, this presented us with a very difficult decision. That decision being, which book I wanted my mom to read to me first! As my mother read the contents of the book to me, the pages would come alive, and my imagination allowed me to journey into far off places. I very fondly recall listening to the voice of my mother as she orated, in vivid detail, the the story contained in my library book. My mother would continue to read to me until my eyes would slowly close, and I would begin to sleep. I looked back on my childhood, and my introspection revealed that my mother reading to me taught me three important lessons.
1. Reading Helped Shape My Imagination
My mother reading to me taught me that magic can be found in a book and that a whole new world is on the tip of my fingers. The imagination I learned, carried over into the desire to play outside and recreate these stories with my sister and friends. Her reading to me showed me not only that she cared that I had an imagination, but that she wanted to help shape it.
2. Reading Taught Me Patience
Through reading, I learned that I may not be able to read a whole book in one night, and that I would be required to exercise my patience. This was made more difficult as my mother would occasionally end our reading session just before, or after a cliffhanger, climax, or plot twist. In spite of my pleas, my mother would gently and kindly explain to me that I would have to wait to hear what would happen next. You have to have patience to see a story unfold. This is made even more difficult in a society that is all about the “now.” Invest in your child’s ability to have patience.
3. Reading Taught Me to Pause
Growing up, you have school, homework and possibly some sort of extra curricular activity. Reading with your child before bed, gives you and your child time to pause and dive into a whole new world together. This allows both parent and child to decompress in a quiet and calm environment. Lastly, you will not regret the time taken to be with one another.