Children Reading


Expert View: Role of reading habit in Child Development

Books are our best friends. Dr Amrita N Shamanewadi MD, PGDFM shares her views on role of reading habit in child development. She is associated with Trawello Healthcare ( as part of their Expert Panel

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one ?. George Martin.

Habit of reading lays a solid foundation for kids’ future. Child’s mind is like an empty slate and reading habit inculcated from beginning will be retained throughout their life. “Leaders are readers ?, Harry Truman aptly said. Books are their best friends and can mould them into good citizens. With diverse and abundant genres, books open the mind & help children grow into inspiring, cheerful, creative and intelligent adults.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of reading:

• Helps developing good vocabulary, language & communication skills
• Aids brain development by improving memory, attention span & concentration
• Boosts imagination and creativity
• Helps in relaxation and is a great stressbuster
• Acts as saviour in boredom and great distraction from gadget addiction.
• Enables academic success.

Habit of reading can start before the kid turns ONE. Parents can start with colourful picture books having interactive features like pop-ups and sounds. As they start picking up 2-syllable words, books about family members, things at home are ideal.

From age of One, kids start understanding sentences and parents can read out interesting stories to them. Make it a fun learning experience prompting your child to imitate the sounds. Colourful board books depicting fruits, vegetables, animals, alphabets will be appropriate.

For school kids, there are more book options. At this age, they need to get into daily habit of reading books for atleast 30 minutes. Books about mythology, fairy tales, general knowledge are recommended.

Adolescents can truly befriend the books as they open their mind to new views, ideas, experiences and concepts. They can enjoy books like mythology, thriller stories, detective stories and biographies.

Books need not always mean the printed version. Choice of print or ebook lies with the person as both have their pros and cons. Print edition give the feel of real book where you turn the pages, hold the book and feel the paper. For people who like to read as they fall asleep, paper books are better. Print books are easier on eyes and cause less eye strain than eBooks.

On the other hand, eBooks are less expensive, more accessible and all stored in single device. A huge library can now be accommodated in a pen drive. End of the day, it is a personal choice between print or eBooks. So, gift your child with a good book and encourage them to start reading. It is said that “a person who does not read when he can, is no different from a person who cannot read at all. ? It is never too late. Let’s encourage our kids to Read, Lead and Succeed.