Category Archives: Cultural Contemplations

Impact a Child’s Life: Encourage Reading

First… The best perspective…

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
~ Psalm 127:3-4

As a child I was a voracious reader. Books – yes of course – but I would read anything available. Cereal boxes, sales ads, junk mail, rules for games I already knew how to play, and even those old ‘Not to be removed except by consumer’ tags found on the back of living room furniture.

I could get completely consumed in a book, so thoroughly engrossed that I could almost see myself as a silent observer in the actual story. Sometimes I would delay or put aside school assignments so I could get back to the book I was reading at the time. Reading was a critical part of my personal development, as it should be for every child.

Reading good quality books teaches kids how to critically evaluate their world, to think logically, to consider differing viewpoints, and to discuss important topics. Reading also helps children build their vocabulary which contributes to building good sentence structure. As children grow in their reading ability, their communication skills are strengthened, both written and oral. Gaining more confidence, they eventually learn to articulate concepts of greater complexity. Simply stated, children who read are children who learn.

Certainly it’s true that better quality books written by outstanding authors are to be preferred as reading material, but almost any book is helpful as a tool to exercise and strengthen the mind. Biographies, history, adventure, books about far-away places, classical literature (strong readers), and even fiction – each genre has its place in the intellectual development of children and people of all ages.

Reading high quality books builds maturity, strengthens the intellect, and enriches the life!


A stack of children’s books purchased at Goodwill for about five dollars!

Would you like to make a difference in the intellectual growth of a child in your life? Take him or her to  a Goodwill store, hand them a five dollar bill, and encourage them to go find five or more books in the children’s section – any five books they would like. Then they should buy the books and go home to read – or have you read to them!

Teach the children in your life to value books, to appreciate books, and to properly care for books. But remember, the only way books can be enjoyed and used to strengthen a life is if they are read!

Parents, it’s up to you to encourage your child to read. Give your young child the opportunity to curl up in your lap and listen as you read great books. Guide your child, helping them choose appropriate books at the library, bookstore, or thrift store. Encourage your child to set aside regular time to enjoy reading a good book. Talk with your child about what they have read and help them discover something new. Continue the process until it becomes a normal part of life.

Grandparents, you also can have an important role in this process. The memories you take time to build with your grandchildren will last a lifetime. Make sure that those memories include you taking the time to read to them and then talking about what they have heard or read for themselves.

Our responsibility as parents is to prepare our child for adulthood and this includes education. There is no more important part of an education than reading.  Arithmetic is also important, but without the ability to communicate properly and effectively, children will already be far behind by the time they reach their teen years.

Impact a child’s life today – encourage them to read.

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© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2017

(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)