It’s Never Too Early to Start Reading with Your Child
By Monica Wilton
We live in a world filled with miracles. We can see them every day—if we know where to look. A miracle occurred the day your baby was born, which changed your life forever. You instantaneously felt the delight and the weight of becoming a parent: “How can I be the parent I want to be? What if I make a mistake? Am I ready for this?” The day your child was born, you started the most important job of your life.
All of us question whether we are doing this parenting thing right. But there is one thing you can do for your child that will help strengthen your relationship with your baby and provide the nurturing bond that is crucial to childhood development. It will enhance your child’s language development, listening skills, cognitive thinking, and empathy, as well as encourage curiosity and creative exploration. Even just a small daily dose will stimulate brain growth and provide the foundation for a lifetime of future learning. Can you guess what I am talking about? You guessed right if you said reading with your child!
The benefits of reading to your infant is nothing short of miraculous, and all you have to do is simply pick up a book and read to your baby. It’s that easy! Reading is so crucial to your child’s development that in 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics emphatically stated that, “Reading from birth is one of the most important things a parent can do...Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later in life.” The research is monumental. Just 15 minutes or more of daily cuddling and reading is the gift that will last a lifetime.
Acclaimed country singer Dolly Parton was born into deep poverty in Sevier County, Tennessee. Because Dolly grew up with limited access to books, she started the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as a gift to children everywhere. Now, children in Lane County are eligible to receive a free book, from birth to five, every MONTH! To learn more, go to www.lanekids.org/imagination-library or talk to your friends at Parenting Now!.
You can be your child’s miracle in the world. Pick up a book, snuggle up, and share the gift of books with your child.
by Monica Wilton - former Executive Director of Eugene Public Library Foundation and a co-founder of the Imagination Library of Eugene.
Parenting Now! is a private, non-profit organization that provides parenting education and support to families with young children.