Reading and writing with your children can help you to build better relationships with them. Reading involves interacting with your child and allows you to set a time aside that you specifically spend with your child. As you create a relaxed and fun atmosphere reading together, your relationship can become stronger. The more opportunities you get to be with your child alone, the easier it can get for both of you to share, and parents find that other issues affecting their children can be expressed, and once out in the open, are easier to discuss.
Stories in books can be used to explain difficult situations and discuss confusing topics with your children. Whether you’re at home, on the bus, in the shops or at the doctor’s surgery or even hospital, there are countless opportunities to help your child to learn. Teaching your children to read and write gives you the chance to talk with them and read together, plus there are fun ways to develop their writing skills too. As a Parent you will have improved confidence in your ability to provide support for your children. Parents and especially first time parents are buffeted from all directions with information on what they should and should not do. Often parents feel inadequate, and at a loss as to how best to care for and support their children. The simple act of reading and being able to achieve positive results with your child can be a big boost for your confidence and can be a building block for continued support and involvement in the growth and development of your child.
Helene Goldnadel says that teaching your child to read and write can provide opportunities to take part in organised activities based in schools or other venues, and form new friendships with other parents through school activities, a neutral place where you can take part in enjoyable, focused activities. This can be particularly useful if you don’t live with your child or your everyday life does not provide opportunities to meet and mix with different people.
Parents with low literacy levels themselves can use this opportunity to learn and develop their own skills. Being able to read and write with your children can provide the motivation and support to join a more formal education class, and create opportunities for voluntary or paid work in schools or the wider community.
So what can you as a parent to help your child read and write better?
As a Parent you need to talk and listen to your children in order to make a good start in teaching them how to read and write. This will give your children an opportunity to hear how language is put together into sentences and prepare them to become readers and writers.
You need to set aside even just 10 minutes a day to read stories with your child as this helps build important skills as well as capturing your child’s interest in books. Books are a rich source of information for your child because they provide certain words which may not be used frequently in everyday conversations. From their earliest days babies enjoy listening to stories and looking at books.
In order to make teaching your child to read and write as easy and enjoyable as possible, choose books that you both enjoy and then spend time reading together and telling stories. You could talk about the pictures and characters in the books and make up your own. You could discuss how your children’s heroes might use books and reading to achieve the things they do.
Teaching your children to read and write does not have to always be formal. You can talk to your children about the world around them and read as you walk down the street and round the shops, pointing out signs and words and talking about them.