Read with, rather than to, your children.

By Robin Smith, Executive Director

There is even more evidence grounded in neuroscience that reading with your children, not just to them, will increase their chances of being successful in school and in life.  How you read with your children and the questions you ask them while reading helps them develop important language and literacy as well as critical thinking and intellectual empathy skills.

Neuroscientist Erin Clabough suggests that instead of simply reading a book straight through with your children, embrace dramatic pauses and interrupt the story at appropriate moments to engage your children and encourage them to put themselves into the minds of the characters. Allow them to work through the conflict before the characters do.

Reading to your children

Clabough asserts that, “each night most parents are losing an incredible opportunity to use artificial conflict as real-life practice.”

She uses the example of Are You My Mother in which conflict happens early on “The baby bird wakes up in a nest all alone and his mother is gone. What would you do, baby bird? Even for books you’ve read together 216 times, your child can come up with a different way the character can react, a different decision the character can make.”

For more information on reading to your children in this way so they develop greater intellectual empathy and critical thinking skills and become more successful, read Want to Raise Successful Kids? Neuroscience Says Read to Them Like This (But Most Parents Don’t) which appears in Inc. Magazine, a business periodical.  One would expect that an article on this topic to be be published in an education or medical journal; however, the business community has begun to recognize the importance of children becoming successful adults for the future of our families, the economy, and our country.

The opinions, content and/or information in this article are those of the author and are independent of BK Reader.

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