Saturday, September 17, 2016

Reading Stories with our Children Helps them Develop Empathy

Now that the sand toys are dried and back in storage, and we are a couple of weeks into our back-to-school routines, many families are settling back into the wonderful habit of reading to and reading with our children.  There are few things more precious than this stage of parenting.  The dishes can wait.  The emails can wait.  The opportunity to spend this kind of quality and bonding time with our children will come and go very quickly.  So leave the phones, the iPads, and the computers beyond our reach and beyond our earshot.  Let's pick up a book or two and snuggle on the couch to read for a while.

Do make this a low stress and enjoyable time.  Read to the children, or buddy read every other page, or listen to them read.  Take a minute and talk about the characters.  Imagine what it is like to be that character and how (s)he is feeling in that situation.  Such activities help our children develop the capacity to think about other people, their experiences, and help them grow empathy, a key component of emotional intelligence.

Also, the positive emotional experience of reading together is also good for us.

This is How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to Be Human
By TOM BLUNT September 15, 2016

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