It is natural for children who are in school to associate reading with schoolwork and homework. Reading, however, offers so much more, and it’s best that your kids know that. In an article for The Huffington Post, Laura Schocker lists down 7 less thought-of reasons why you must instill a love of reading in your children. And, mind you, the reasons she brings up are all backed by science, so there’s a lot of weight behind them.
Learn to read minds by reading literary works
Does that sound a bit too X-Men? Schocker cites a study that says reading literary works can help you develop the “ability” to read the thoughts and feelings of other people. What is cultivated here is a skill called the “theory of mind”, and reading literary works, not popular fiction, can actually help us develop that ability.
Reading relieves stress
Reading relieves stress better than listening to music or taking a walk. According to Schocker there is research that says reading is the most effective way of overcoming stress.
Reading may also help us sleep better. According to Schocker, reading relieves stress, especially when you make it a routine before going to bed. It calms our mind and preps our body for some shut-eye. We better steer clear of the page-turners and e-books though, as they could work the other way instead. Personally, I prefer reading literary works over the popular thrillers, so I guess I’m on the right road.
Reading makes for healthier minds as we age
Instill a love of reading in your children, and their brain will still remain in shape even when they reach old age. Schocker mentions a study conducted earlier this year that reveals people who kept on exercising their minds in later life had a much lower rate of mental decline compared to those who had average mental activity.
Somehow related is the association between engaging in mental workouts like reading literary works and all sorts of reading material and doing puzzles and the lesser likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reading boosts empathy and lowers levels of depression
The psychological effects of reading are also mentioned by Schocker. One effect is that increases one’s empathy, according to researchers in the Netherlands. Reading self-help books, combined with support sessions on using them, is also associated with lower levels of depression.
These benefits definitely apply to people from all walks of life, but if you a lot of reading n your children early on, they’re the ones who will benefit the most.
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