There exists a common tradition or ritual in many homes with children. This ritual consists of an adult placing a young child in his (or her) lap and reading to them. During this time the child gains preliteracy skills and knowledge. They also feel a sense of warmth, security, and order with the adult that is known as secure attachment. I state that this interaction is related to the child’s attachment with the adult. I state it also is related to the child’s love of reading. Research published in 2015 also demonstrates that this interaction helps a child with their thinking and self‐regulating abilities or cognitive executive functions. So, this common tradition of sitting a young child in your lap to read to them is quite important for their relationships and thinking abilities when they are young and in their future. Research shows this is true for all children.
So, what is the big deal? Well, in terms of research, the importance of the secure relationship to thinking skills is a relatively new finding. Learning skills such as goal setting and impulse control, and self-regulation can be improved if done in a warm, responsive, and securely attached relationship. Routinely reading to young children in a loving manner can help them with self‐control, flexibility, and meta‐cognition. The positive influences come from the secure relationship that is created and not just the content and practice of reading to the young children. Attachment and a positive relationship are important to developing thinking skills, too. This is true for present and future thinking skills.
Read to young children in a loving way. This is more than just a relationship builder or a fun time. This helps the young child in their future, by showing them a loving relationship and building their thinking skills. This common and simple tradition is quite miraculous. So please, keep reading to young children. This expression of love and support will do them a world of good. Besides, this tradition is fun for all involved. Just know that you are giving that child more than reading and thinking skills. You are giving them a loving foundation.
Reference ‐ A secure base from which to regulate: Attachment security in toddlerhood as a predictor of executive functioning at school entry (2015) by Bernier, Beauchamp, Carlson, & Lalonde.