Why Do We Really Read to Our Children?

We all think we know the answer as to the question – why read to your children? But I recently read an article https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-apartheid-of-childrens-literature.html that made me stop and think.


The main message is a discussion about the well-documented lack of diversity in children’s books.


But there were two throwaway comments that wonderfully summarised the two real reasons that we should share story times with our children. These are:

  • That stories are a mirror in which our children can see themselves.
  • That stories are a map to show them the way to their futures.

Stories are mirrors

The stories we read our children can reflect the world around them to our children. Perhaps more importantly, the behaviour of protagonists can become a model for how our children themselves react to situations.

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They can be brave. Friendly. Kind. Angry. Jealous. And seeing these emotions and responses in stories helps them internalise them too.


Stories are maps to the future they want to create

The second concept is amazingly powerful. The stories we read and tell our children give them a framework for how they see themselves in the world – and directions for how to get there.


So often, life just happens to us.


Yet people who build amazing businesses often just start with a story. It’s a story about an idea.


If we nourish that story with things like faith and persistence, then those ideas have a chance to grow and flourish.


And it all starts with the stories our children hear as they sit on our laps for their bedtime story.


How powerful is that?


So #keepreading.