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Monday, 19 December 2016 00:12

Kids Can Pay it Forward with Reading

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One of the best ways to get children to do something positive is to tap into their natural desire to help others. There’s  a lot of research on this, starting with this article on how giving even makes toddlers happy. Maybe you’ve noticed that most of the time what kids won’t do for themselves they will do for others if they see the good in it. Consider these examples. Does your child get excited about any of the following?

  • Feeding, walking or brushing a cat or dog (usually someone else’s!)

  • Baking cookies for a charity bake sale

  • Taking part in a walk-a-thon

  • Participating in a clean-up day, or helping build a school or town playground

  • Feeding stray animals, or backyard birds

  • Donating food or time to a soup kitchen or church pantry

  • Writing letters to soldiers

  • Participating in school or youth group service projects

  • Creating holiday gift baskets for the elderly or poor

The list of ways kids can help others goes on and on! I’m sure you can think of several times your child has helped another person this past year and has been eager to do it.

So, how can we use this innate enjoyment of philanthropy when it comes to reading? There are lots of ways!

Free! Get my list of Books that Inspire Children to Give below.

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Who can your child read to that would bring them pleasure? That’s easy! Anyone in need of a friend or human contact. Let the following list be a starting point - add to it based on the needs of your family and community:

  • Seniors in nursing homes, senior centers or an elderly neighbor or grandparent

  • Animals in shelters (see my blog post on reading to animals here)

  • Newborn babies (especially if the new mommy needs a break!)

  • Terminally ill children in cancer wards

  • Veterans – start at the local VFW (It’s not just an old man’s club anymore!)

Why is reading aloud helpful to others? There are several reasons.

  • Listening to a story book is calming to people and animals

  • Creating a human connection through story is powerful, and sometimes the easiest way to interact with a new person (no conversation needed, let the book do the talking)

  • A good story opens minds and hearts

  • Stories help the listener generate new ideas of their own

  • Stories empower others to make good choices and try new things

  • Stories can help people form bonds of friendship across ages and cultures

  • Listening to a read aloud helps improve concentration and thinking skills

  • A read aloud allows the listener to experience the world right from their chair

Lean on your child’s natural tendency to give. Inspire them to act to help another in this world and reap the amazing benefits of feeling good by doing good, all while practicing reading. The best part is your child won’t even realize he is getting reading practice – what he will realize is how much he touches someone else’s life.

For a list of books of ways for your child to help others (and include reading in the process whenever possible!) get my quick guide to Books That Inspire Children to Give!

Access Now >>

Read 219 times Last modified on Friday, 23 December 2016 11:43

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