I often write about the importance of literacy and the critical role of reading often with and to our children. I would like to add how vital speaking with your child is as well.
While reading a book with your child, you can easily open up a discussion. For example, with a book such as The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, you can ask your child, what do you think about a cat wearing a red hat? Or a cat talking? Or a cat wearing a bow tie? Do you think a cat and a fish can be friends? Those are just some of the questions to ask to open up your child’s mind so that your child thinks beyond the four pages of the book and is creative.
Listen to what your child says. Let your child complete a thought without interrupting. Then, ask follow-up questions. Continue to stir your child’s imagination. Children want to be heard and understood. Also, let your child ask questions. No question is a dumb question when it comes to children – remember that!
Be sure to laugh and even do some tickling. Reading and talking should be fun, not boring. It’s up to you as the parent to set the tone and create an enjoyable atmosphere to share with your child. They are truly worth it.