Foster Your Child's Imagination Through Reading


As adults, most of us have fond memories of being read to as a child. In our home we only had a few books, but I remember having them read to me over and over until I knew them by heart. As parents and grandparents, you recognize when your child knows the story so well, they won't let you miss a word. This is the beginning of literacy. You are the most important influence in the development of early literacy and fostering the love of reading in your child. We read to our children so they become literate, develop a love for reading, expand their knowledge of the world and become aware of the human experience.

The wonderful thing about reading with your child is that there are some amazing side benefits that relate to a child's emotional well-being. Sitting on a bed or a couch and enjoying a good book together is a great bonding time for both adult and child. This shared bonding can help with attentiveness and calmness, decrease anxiety and help establish a strong relationship. It can also help children fall asleep more easily at bedtime.

One of the vital products of reading with children is the thoughts that are stirred in their mind and the conversations that result. After you have read Have Courage & Be Kind, ask your child what they liked about the book, what was a favourite illustration, and which situation they connected to. Ask them to think of a time when they needed to show courage, and whether they could have reacted more courageously at the time. Explore what was beautiful in the book, what was sad, joyful, scary, etc. Then move the conversation to their own feelings: are they worried or frustrated like the characters in the story; are there things they can do when they feel this way; can they show kindness to someone right now, etc.

Sometimes these talks become "grand conversations" and foster further curiosity, wonder and discovery. You will never forget when your child has an 'aha' moment and transcends beyond the book to the larger world of understanding, empathy and possibilities that lie ahead. You won’t want to miss that opportunity!

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