Is reading a dying art?
In order for our brain to remain healthy, it needs exercise. However, we don’t always dedicate enough time to it. Studies show that Reading stimulates brain activity and strengthens the neural connections, making it one of the most beneficial activities for our health.
child care19 April 2017
An active brain doesn’t just work better, it also has a quicker response time. While we read, we are obliging our brain to think, to put our ideas in order, to interrelate concepts, to exercise our memory and to imagine, all of which allows us to improve our intellectual capacity, stimulating our neurons. Reading also generates topics for conversation, which help with social interaction and relationships, another key aspect of keeping our brain exercised.
Additionally, in the last few years, there have been many studies linking a person’s level of literacy with an increase in their cognitive reserve. This means that the brain of a person who habitually reads has a better ability to compensate for potential future brain damage generated by a pathology.
Reading stimulates brain activity and strengthensthe neural connections
SO, WHERE SHOULD WE START?
Instilling a love of reading in our children is one of the best gifts we can give them. Reading fosters childrens’ emotional and psychological development, gives them the opportunity to experience sensations and feelings with which they will mature and learn; With books they laugh, dream and travel to other worlds; Share pleasant moments as a family, reinforcing the bond with their parents... In short, reading helps children to grow in every way.
Reading has been shown to improve the ability and linguistic progress of young children. In fact, the sooner a child is exposed to reading, the better his/her linguistic ability and skills are. They learn words faster, improve their understanding and exercise their brains in preparation for the language acquisition that occurs between 10 and 30 months.
Early exposure of children to narrative and poetic language, puns and rhymes, contributes to a wider appropriation of language and to a deeper understanding of the structures of their mother tongue.
Encouraging reading also has other health benefits. Reading, especially fiction, can help reduce stress levels, which can cause or worsen many neurological conditions such as headaches, epilepsy or sleep disorders. In addition, reading a little before going to bed may help develop good sleep routines, especially if the brain is used to linking this activity to bedtime.
Books are an essential companion for your child.
10 SIMPLE TIPS TO ENCOURAGE THE LITTLEST MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY TO READ
1. Organising: disorganisation is at odds with reading. That is why paediatricians remind us that it is important to help children organise their time and their books.
2. Be constant: every day you should keep a little time to read, when everyone is relaxed and more inclined to do so.
3. Ask for advice: It is important to seek advice from the school, libraries and bookstores on the most appropriate books for each child and age.
4. Listen: Listening to childrens’ and teenagers’ questions is the key to learning about their tastes and motivations.
5. Stimulate and encourage: any situation can provide a reason to reach for a book. That is why it is always recommended to keep books within childrens’ reach.
6. Give an example: adults are a model for children and young people, who often imitate them; It is important to read in front of them.
7. Respect: children have the right to choose. You have to be aware of their tastes and how they evolve.
8. Propose, do not impose: it is better to suggest than to impose. We must avoid treating reading as an obligation.
9. Accompany them: Family support is necessary at all ages. Children should not be left alone the moment they can read by themselves.
10. Sharing: The habit of reading is spread by reading with the children.
THE MOST FREQUENT MISTAKES
• Creating contradictions between the school's method and that used at home.
• Using inappropriate texts due to their level, interest or topic.
• Introducing an excessively fast learning pace.
• Repeating or teaching what they already know, causing boredom.
Source: Spanish Association of Primary Paediatric Care (AEPap)