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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Jenkins

4 Reasons Why You Should Put a Book in Their Hands

Four reasons why reading books improves quality of life.

It can be difficult for parents to convince a child or teen to turn off the show they’re streaming and pick up a book. Trust me, I've faced this conflict in my own home. There are a lot of great digital programs, educational shows, and apps that provide strong academic benefit to children. These can be valuable tools and guilt-free screen time for busy parents. Seriously. No judgement. I love me some Bluey!

But I’d like to make an argument for why reading every day from a physical book can provide lasting positive impact.

Beyond the obvious educational benefits, here are four reasons why carving out time in your schedule to read will improve the lives of your children…and your life as well.

Reason #1 - Reading Improves Concentration and Memory

When reading, we need to focus on the text and the plot, and thus fully engage with the book. This improves our ability to concentrate, which can also be an advantage in everyday life. In addition, reading promotes memory, as we can better memorize the plot and the characters.

Reason #2 - Reading Promotes Imagination and Creativity

When we watch a screen, the visual is supplied for us. Reading requires an active participation of our brain in order to form a picture of the story. By harnessing our imagination, reading makes for a personal and individual experience while encouraging our creativity and improving our spatial thinking.

Reason #3 - Reading Reduces Stress

A good book can take us to another world and distract us from our everyday life. Reading can help us calm our mind and free us from stress and worry.

“Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.” - NAMI California "Why Reading is Good for Mental Health"

Reason #4 - Reading Promotes Personal Development

Books can give us new food for thought and help us understand ourselves better. They can also help us increase our empathy by showing us the world from a different perspective.

Listen, I get it.

As the mother of a former reluctant reader and a person who struggled with dyslexia growing up, I know that the efforts you make to get your child reading everyday may sometimes feel Herculean.

Take your kids to the local library. Give them choices. They may not have found what they enjoy reading yet. It took me years of pushing fantasy novels on my son before I learned he loved biographies. Go figure.

Consistency will lead to smoother roads, and one day, you may just walk into a room and see your child curled up with a book on their own.


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