Your kids don't hate reading, they're just reading the wrong books.

Parents often complained to me about their children’s low attention spans, I’d always respond with the same question, “Do you read to your child on a regular basis?” When I worked at a preschool, I witnessed the transformative impact that reading had on children. It had a stunning effect on each child’s critical thinking skills. By following a sequence of complex layers in stories, they developed longer attention spans. Pediatricians state that children’s language, cognitive and social-emotional development is also impacted by reading. The main objective is to have your child follow a storyline from start to finish with strong comprehension. Neuroscientist Susan Grenfield states, “It is essential to learn this skill as a small child, while the brain has more plasticity, which is why it’s so important for parents to read to their children…” Some children are unable to focus for more than 5 minutes. With gentleness and persistence, continue reading to them and encouraging them to answer important questions. Do this and watch them become more and more inquisitive and observant of the stories and even the world around them. My students thought I was just reading them funny stories. As an educator, I knew it was far deeper than that. I was training them to pay attention to important details and comprehend complex plots. According to Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, children’s behavioral problems like hyperactivity and low attention-span improves overtime. They are more likely to cooperate with others, sit still and concentrate. Children are positively impacted by regularly reading.

The most exciting thing for an educator is to watch students intellectually transform. My favorite moments were when they learned to read for themselves. I encouraged them to read books that interested them. For example, one child was obsessed with soccer. I made sure that he read more books about soccer players and soccer games because then, it didn’t feel like work. If you give your child the foundation of reading, and show them that it is a positive thing, their learning opportunities will be endless. Whether they can afford school or not, they will always learn something. Their mindsets will constantly be challenged by great thinkers and philosophers. Reading also improves communication within the brain. According to scientists Timothy Keller and Marcle, intense reading in children causes the brain to physically rewire itself. This creates more white matter which improves communication within the brain. Deficits in children point to specific brain circuits that can be treated with reading. The smartest teenagers, best writers and greatest business minds I know are avid readers. There is a world of information out there and it is accessible. There is so much to learn and not enough time.

Reading is not just about learning. It is a form of entertainment as well. A study by Emory University found that when people read, the neurons in the brain activate and create a sensation of not just reading the book, but of experiencing the sensations the book is describing. I believe that people who hate reading are just reading the wrong books. Avid readers understand that film will never compare to the world of literature. The best books cannot be well adapted to the screen because the screen is limited. The emotions and sensations one would feel in a well-written novel are lost in a film. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns stated, “Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define a person.” There are many great books and collections to choose from to entertain, educate or just occupy you and your children. Here is a short list of books that I recommend for children of different ages:

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This particular book collection is great for children ages 6-12. The protagonist, Junie B., is a quirky kindergartner who takes readers on a journey of her development and family life all the way to middle school. The stories are short and full of humor for both the child and the parent.

Fudge Series by Judy Blume

Judy Blume is a classically incredible author for children’s books. Her books are great for children ages 10-15. The Fudge Series is a fun and entertaining, comedic story about two brothers and their complicated lives. The plot is quite interesting to follow and the whole family can enjoy!

Amber Brown by Paula Danziger

Amber Brown’s book collection made me grow up with her. Amber’s life is full of challenges like divorce, bullying and puberty. Her experiences made me feel like my life was not that different. This book collection is great for pre-teens between ages 13-16. It is a very relatable book and it has good vocabulary.

These are my top three favorite children’s book collections. When I was growing up, these books were truly entertaining and kept me from staring at TV screens. I spent my childhood reading, and I hope your child does too. If you want more information about children’s book recommendations contact us! Whether you are looking for religion-specific or nonfiction books for your children, please remember that there is an endless menu to choose from. There is no reason your children should live on Tiktok and Youtube!