The Non-Educational Benefits of Reading

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Heightens Concentration: When you read, you use a different part of the brain than what you would use for visual entertainment (watching TV) or audio entertainment (listening to music or the radio). By exercising that part, you can work towards enhancing the brain’s capability to think and concentrate.

Reduces Stress: A good book is often said to “take you to another world”. Diving deep into a book is a great of taking your mind off any worries and leave behind any stress you may be carrying with you.

Deepens Empathy: An emerging theory suggests that reading fiction can improve your ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling.

Provides Pleasure: Reading is shown to stimulate the portions of the brain associated with pleasure. One team even found that close reading and pleasure reading increased blood flow to different areas of the brain.

Exercise for your brain: Studies show that those who regularly read or play mentally challenging games are two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Saves money: According to Weight Watchers, the average novel costs between $8 and $13 and takes about six hours to read. Not to mention a library which is even cheaper. Compared to other forms of entertainment, books win the cost effective entertainment contest hands down.

Increased tolerance for uncertainty: Studies have found that one of the more immediate benefits and non-educational benefits of reading include an increased tolerance for uncertainty. Participants who read short stories were found less likely to “need to reach a quick conclusion in decision-making and an aversion to ambiguity and confusion.” Avid fiction readers in turn were found better able to think creatively and not be tied down to one specific idea.

 

Sources:

http://www.thewire.com/national/2013/07/more-evidence-reading-good-you/66909/

http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/news.aspx?itemid=2740&itemTitle=Reading+for+pleasure+puts+children+ahead+in+the+classroom%252C+study+finds&sitesectionid=27&sitesectiontitle=News

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/benefits-of-reading/print-view/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/12/health-benefits-reading_n_4081258.html

http://whytoread.com/why-to-read-10-reasons-why-reading-books-will-save-your-life/

http://lifedev.net/2009/06/reading-makes-you-better/

http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/08/12/can-reading-fiction-improve-empathy/73521.html

 

Are you sending kids the wrong signals about Reading?

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“Do as I say but not as I do” is a great way to describe the mixed signals we send our children when it comes to important habits and behavior.

If you think your kids aren’t reading enough or as interested in books as they ought to be, perhaps you need to look at some of these silent signals you could be sending them.

 

They Don’t See You Reading

Children will love doing the same things you do. But if they never see you pick up a book (even if you love reading, but just lack time) it may be sending the wrong signal. If you read when the kids are out and the house is quiet, or just before bedtime, do your children ever see or know about your reading habit? They may missing it.

 

You Push Your Choices on Them

As a parent you probably could make a more informed as to what your child may like or enjoy reading. But sometimes it is good for kids to explore their own choices and learn that skill for themselves. Or your child may just be acting contrary and refusing to read your choices.

 

You (unintentionally) Put Down Bookish People

As parents our objective is to inculcate a healthy reading habit resulting in well-read, informed offspring. But there are many young bookworms who often don’t know or experience much of the world beyond books. Criticizing anyone for ‘always having their nose in a book’ may just translate to ‘reading is for nerds’ for your kids and should be avoided.

 

You Aren’t Excited About Books

Do you give or receive books as gifts? Are visits to the library or bookstore part of your life? If not you, may be sending the signal ‘books just aren’t my thing’ to your kids. Even if your interest is not high, at least try and visit these places regularly and browse, while encouraging your children to pick up books.

 

Your Never Talk About Books

Books, like movies, are often part of a social conversations. If you do not participate, or even show interest in book discussions, your children have probably picked up on that. It is ok if you are not an avid reader yourself, but if you do want your children to read more, listen in on book conversations and try to talk to your children about stories you remember enjoying.