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Raising Smart Kids

Raising Smart Kids

We all want what’s best for our kids, and this means trying to make sure we raise them in the right way. There are so many leaps and developmental stages that children go through at a young age, and we need to make the most of these. If you can, ensure you are focused on helping your kids get the nurture and support they need. We want our kids to be smart, and have all the opportunities in life that they could ever want. 

Of course, many of us parents don’t realize that we can directly affect this right now with the approach we take, and the decisions we make for our kids. Now is the time that we need to be setting our kids up to be as successful as possible in later life, but this can be a challenge to say the least! However, stressed and frazzled parents need not despair, for there is a great way of being able to do this, and you can find out more below. 

“Keystone Habit”

Now, one of the best ways of being able to enrich our children’s lives, and prepare them for success in later life is through the use of what are known as “Keystone habits.” These are a special collection of habits that can kickstart a chain reaction to boost and improve other areas of your child’s life. They influence several areas of life, and focusing on one can lead to dramatic improvements and positive impacts in other areas of your life as well.

As parents, these “keystone habits” are the most important, and the ones we need to focus on when it comes to improving our kids’ futures. Now, we are going to talk about one particular “keystone habit” that will only take up around 15 minutes of your day but will have a huge impact on your kids. And don’t worry, you’re not going to have to break the bank with expensive tutoring or anything like that! We are talking, of course, about reading to your child! And you should do this even if the child already knows how to read themselves. This is one of the most powerful “keystone habits” and will really help when raising smart and kind kids. 

So let’s look a little closer at this, and how we, as parents, can make it such a major part of day to day life in the family home. 

Make Time 

Okay, we understand that, as parents, it can be very difficult to actually make time for, well… anything! We have so many obligations and responsibilities that there never seems to be enough hours in the day. So, you’re probably wondering how you are supposed to make time to read to your kids amid the stress and busyness of modern life. There are important things that take priority, and this is perhaps why studies have revealed that only 30% of American parents admit to reading to their kids for 15 minutes or more on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, this number is nowhere near high enough, so the onus is on us as parents to come up with ways of being able to make the time to do this more effectively. There are a few techniques that will help with this, and we’ll explore this further when looking at overcoming the setbacks parents face when trying to read to their kids. But, the most important thing is to try to make sure you’ve got some kind of routine to work with, and this can make all the difference.

Words Matter

It is important to understand why you need to read to your kids every day, and what positive impacts this can have on their lives. You have got so much opportunity here to impact and improve your kids’ lives, and reading can open so many doors and serve so many purposes for then moving forward. Let’s take a look at just some of the amazing reasons why it is absolutely imperative that you take the time to read aloud to your children every single day. This will hopefully inspire you to take the time to do this right now.  

  • Your kid will learn more words

One of the biggest advantages of reading aloud to your kids is the fact that it means they will learn more words in the process. Your kid having a strong vocabulary when they enter school is essential, and kids who are read to at home learn many more words and have a much better vocabulary than kids who aren’t read to. For the first few years of school, the majority of teaching is done orally. As such, the kids who have the best vocabulary will understand more, and they will be able to learn better. If you want to go that extra mile to help a little more, you might consider speech therapy for kids.

  • Your child’s brain will grow

When kids are young and growing, they are like sponges, absorbing all the information and learning that they encounter. This is one of the reasons why parents of underperforming kids would benefit from taking their kids to speech pathology in Sydney. Your kid’s brain is evolving at this age, and reading is one of the best ways of being able to achieve this. The more you read to your kids, the more neurons will grow and connect in their brain. Helping your child’s brain to grow is a key part of them being able to learn more and become smarter.

  • Instills a love of reading

You need to set good habits for later life, and this is one of the biggest advantages of reading aloud to your children. You will be able to help instill in them a love of reading that they will hopefully be able to take with them into later life. Kids who find reading difficult will often fall behind in school, and this is why you need to ensure you equip your kids with what they need to become lifelong readers. As any good speech therapist will tell you, reading can improve speech, understanding, and learning, and this is what makes it invaluable for modern children. 

  • Improves behavior

Believe it or not, reading aloud to your kid can actually go a long way toward improving their behavior as well. This is because the practice of reading aloud to your children improves their attention span and concentration skills. These are essential skills that your child will need in order to navigate their school years and beyond.

  • Helps you bond with your child

Bonding with your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. It helps you to give your children the attention and nurturing they need from a young age to develop in the right way. Reading aloud to your child offers physical closeness and emotional bonding, and you will have a strong connection with your kids. There are so many factors that play a part in this, and it is essential that you try to build this strong bond. It can increase the chances of cooperation and allows your child to learn better in life as well as in school.

  • Increases their empathy

Kids need to develop important emotional growth from a young age to help them be kind and considerate. One of the greatest benefits of reading aloud to your children is that it can help to increase their empathy. Stories teach children valuable lessons and morals about the world around them, as well as allowing them to experience new situations and characters. Empathy is an important trait for kids to learn, and one that they will be able to use to improve their friendships and the way they interact with other kids. And reading to your child daily can really help to improve their ability to empathize with others.  

Setbacks & How to Combat Them

Now, as parents, it is important that we come up with ideas that will allow us to free up our schedule and make more time for daily reading. There are a lot of setbacks that can sometimes prevent us from being able to do this, and we need to understand what they are and how to combat them as well as possible. Knowing you need to be doing this is not the same as actually doing it, and this is something you need to action as well as you can. These are some of the issues parents often encounter when trying to make the time to read aloud to their kids, as well as helpful solutions you can use to help make this happen for you. 

  • Too Busy

Yes, many of us swear we are too busy in life to make time for reading to our kids. It could be working an intensive job, picking the children up from school, cooking, washing, cleaning, running errands, and many more. You can deal with this issue by coming up with a visual reminder to help you do it. Another great idea would be to combine the reading with another task you would never skip, like your kid taking a bath, or brushing their teeth.

  • Kids Can Already Read on Their Own

Most parents take this as a cue that they can/should stop, or that they don’t need to keep up with reading to their kids. But actually, you should try to make sure you keep up with this as much as possible, because it helps your kids progress to the next reading level quicker. Any speech pathologist will tell you the importance of continuing to read to your kids, even when they can read themselves. You can read aloud from the book they are reading themselves, or invite them to pick something out.

  • You Don’t Enjoy Reading Aloud

This can be one of the biggest problems when it comes to getting parents to read to their kids on a regular basis. Not enjoying the process is not uncommon, and it can be really difficult to motivate yourself when this is the issue. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to get better at this, and one of the best ones is to choose the right book. With a bit of research, this should be very easy to accomplish. 

  • Your Child Won’t Pay Attention

One of the biggest problems parents encounter these days is that their child will not pay attention or sit still during the reading process. This can turn something that’s supposed to be fun into something potentially stressful. Easing your kids into the process, as well as reading to them at bedtime or bathtime, will help make the process easier.

  • You’re Too Tired

An all too common problem for modern parents these days, especially those with a busy schedule or more than one child. If exhaustion gets the better of you at night, a good solution might be to move the reading session forward in the day. Reading aloud to your child at breakfast is one of the most effective ways of doing this. 

  • Kids of Different Ages

There are issues that parents might have when it comes to reading aloud to your kids. This is something that can make the reading process a little more complicated. Picture books are always a good bet, but for older kids, you might consider reading magazine or newspaper articles out loud.

  • Your Kid Interrupts a Lot

Again, this is a common problem to encounter, because kids are curious and want to question things. This is actually an essential part of the process, and you need to embrace it during the reading out loud process. If their question is about the story, answer it immediately, if it’s not, then leave it until the end.

  • Reading the Same Story is Boring

Again, this is true, but it’s only boring for you as a parent; kids love to hear the same stories again and again. And this is precisely what your child needs to learn and improve their knowledge and vocabulary. Try to focus on books you like and enjoy, as well as mixing things up with different accents, etc.

As you can see, reading aloud to your child as often as possible is hugely important. Even busy and stressed parents can make the time to do this, and it is so important. You need to think about other elements that can contribute to this. If you are struggling to get your child interested in reading or being read to it might be worth considering speech therapy for adults and children so that you can help their development and encourage them to read better.