The value of reading fiction is receiving much attention these days and research suggests that people who read fiction are better at thinking creatively and they have more insight about others and their perspectives. In addition, brain science tells us that fiction, reading and talking about a story is an activity that helps integrate the brain. Parents reading and talking with children about a story is at the heart of the matter.Research indicates that parents can directly shape the unfolding growth of their child’s brain according to the experiences they offer— experiences shape brain growth. Parents can help their child’s brain develop to work to full capacity, and become integrated by giving their children the experience of reading and talking with them about a story.
The goal is to help children lean to use both sides of the brain together. To thrive, children depend on both sides of the brain to work in harmony. Perspective comes when our emotions are working along side the logical and linear part of the brain.
In addition to the important benefits of how stories work to integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain, the rewards for the parent child relationship is incalculable. The relationship between parent and child is part of the reading experience. Parents who Conversationally Read— read and talk about a story with children— feel more connected to their children and more satisfied in their role as a parent. In turn, the reading experience for the child gives a clear message they are loved and understood.
A recent article spoke of how parents of young children prefer print books over books read on a gadget. As one parents accurately chimed….It’s intimacy, the intimacy of reading and touching the world. Being cozy with a book and with an attentive parent has no substitute and the rewards are plentiful and long lasting. Children who are read to by an attentive other makes for optional brain function and promotes health and well being.