By María Rojas – Education degree student
As a child, I remember getting very excited about sleeping time. Not only because I love to sleep but also for what it used to happen before. Every night, before going to sleep, my mom entered to the room and read me an English bedtime storybook. It was a book full of awesome stories and adventures, songs and rhymes. I do remember loving that time and the way I used to imagine every single scenario about those stories. Having that time with her made me treasure those moments and remember them forever. Recently, however, I started asking myself… Do parents still do that? Or they just prefer to play some YouTube or Netflix series/videos?
Nowadays, in my perception, people have forgotten what books and stories do to children and babies. According to Cam Everlands Primary School in “10 benefits of reading”, children will exercise their brain, improve language skills and vocabulary, develop imagination and empathy, and improve concentration just by reading books. Of course, children love watching videos, observing how characters move, and the colors, and maybe every time you, as a teacher or parent, try to read something, they just seem to reject it. But it is simply because they don’t know how to imagine or even how to read. If, as a baby, what a parent used to do is give him or her an iPad and play videos for hours in order for that child to sleep or calm down, liking the process of reading or getting used to it will be ten times more difficult.
Teachers, but mainly parents are in charge of developing healthy and educated children. The only way of doing that is by having and teaching the appropriate balance. I completely understand that times have changed, we are in a technological era, but we should not dismiss what books and the experience of reading leave us. Bedtime reading will help parents create routines. Some children have problems with going to bed, however, if you read to them before sleeping and you create a habit, their brain automatically will prepare, and it is going to be easier for them to sleep. (Caroline Hartwell, 2016). As in my case, I developed a very special memory and bond with my mom. Reading to your children or students will generate a beautiful bond. It will mean family or group time, and that develops other values and feelings.
Reading books to children is one of the best legacies we can leave. At nineteen, I still take care and treasure the book that my mother used to read to me, and I look forward to reading it to my students or children because I learned from my own experience what that developed in me, and I know what I can develop in them. As adults, we must stop rushing into everything. We cannot continue running and stressing for everything because that makes us lazy parents or teachers. We prefer to turn on the TV or give them an iPad instead of lying down for a while, resting for a minute, pausing time and reading a story of 5 - 10 minutes because adults have become lazy. It is time for us to teach and educate children the right way. We will not, and they will, not regret it.