Scientists have discovered that that
children whose parents read and talk to them during the first three
years of life create a stronger foundation for future reading
success. In other words, what our parents and grandparents knew
instinctively is now backed up by hard scientific evidence. In the
U.S. doctors and nurses are starting to prescribe reading to babies
along with regular checkups and vaccinations. In our country these
regulations are far fetched, but nevertheless, educated parents can
always work on it and make a difference in their own small way. This
small beginning will create ripples some day. And who doesn't want
their child to benefit just by spending a few minutes of reading.
Think about it.
Mrs. Hillary Clinton announced a national
campaign to put books in the hands of parents who bring their young
children to the doctor, and to get doctors to prescribe daily
reading. It's important that we take to heart what the neuroscientists
are telling us. In today's hi-tech world of e-mail and microchips,
it is easy to forget the importance of human connections in our
daily activities. Technology has brought many welcome conveniences
to our lives, but it has also the potential to create feelings of
distance, detachment and isolation amongst us.
Reading to a child while touching, hugging
and holding him or her can be a wonderful antidote to the impersonal
tendencies of the information age for both the adult and the child.
Reading is equally important for building trust in close
relationships. That is why many of us remember the warm embrace or
the comfortable lap that cradled us when we read books as children.
And that's why reading should not be viewed solely as an
intellectual proposition, particularly in the era in which we now
And moreover reading is easy, affordable
and feasible for parents no matter what their level of education or
economic station in life is. Children's books are freely available
at public libraries in every community and can be found at
reasonable prices at any book store. Doctors, librarians, teachers,
book publishers, business leaders and the news media can help make
books available to families and educate parents about the vital role
that reading plays in our children's lives.
It isn't very often that we have before us
such a simple, inexpensive and pleasurable way to improve our
children's health and development and improve their prospects for a
brighter future. Whether you lie down together on the rug, sit
together in an old rocking chair or cuddle on your child's bed,
there is no better way of spending time than reading to your child.
Teachers feel the bond of reading between a
parent and child enhances creativity. A story leads to a dozen of
eager questions asked, which show that the child's mind is racing
ahead of the verbal drama unfolding in front of his/her imagination.
The child is putting himself/herself into the story, putting
feelings in and visualizing all kinds of angles and possibilities
that may not be actually there. According to an analysis by
teachers, children particularly love stories about animals because
they can cut loose from all limitations and rules of their own
civilized lives and from the control of their parents. They dream of
running free in a forest, living in a hollow tree, flying with the
birds and creatures who don't scold or make you wash your hands
before each meal. Imagination and creativity go hand in hand. And
imagination is not just an amusing and unimportant aspect of
childhood. It is a powerful stimulus to the development of maturity
it should certainly be fostered.
Reading also make the child feel secure,
loved and wanted. This shows in their good performance as compared
to unloved children who tend to perform poorly and don't have their
impulse to please or co-operate with the teacher. It is in the first
couple of years of life that the largest part of the bonding process
between the parent and child is carried out. It is this deciding
time when it is determined whether the individual is going to grow
up into a warm person, a detached type, trusting, mistrustful, an
optimist or a pessimist.
I don't want to make blasé comparison but
again the electronic media gives the child a clear picture where
there is no scope for imagination. It is just there on the screen
whether it is make believe, violence, a hyped up story or a soft
fairy tale. But when they are being read to, they form a mental
image from the words. Though they may misunderstand some words but
the guiding parent is always there explaining the finer nuances
which is not so with the electronic media. They are left to their
My grandfather thought reading to me would
develop a strong vocabulary and language skills that I would later
need in school. My parents placed a similar premium on reading and
to this day I remember the feeling of security and comfort and joy I
felt sitting on my grandfather's lap when he read classic short stories to me.