In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, there has been a shift in focus towards the importance of mental health in children due to the recent turmoil and upheaval. The emphasis was on physical and intellectual development, and children were thought to be immune to stressors that affect mental health. However, new research on Adverse Childhood Experiences and advancements in brain research have shown that mental well-being is just as important. It is estimated that one in six children have a diagnosed mental health condition, while others are impacted by short-term stress and trauma. To support children's mental and emotional health and equip them with tools to handle stress, many studies suggest reading to and with children regularly.
Numerous studies have established a connection between early language and literacy skills in children and their future academic success. Children who are read to regularly tend to have a richer vocabulary and more advanced cognitive abilities than those who aren't. These skills also have implications for mental and emotional well-being. Naming and expressing emotions with words is a crucial first step in managing them effectively. Children who have this ability possess better self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-regulation skills, according to recent research. Reading to children on a regular basis has a more significant impact on their mental health than just helping them recognize and label emotions. Studies have found that children who enjoy reading score higher on mental health assessments and are more emotionally resilient. Researchers in Australia discovered that reading aloud to children who were neglected or maltreated tripled their emotional resilience. Additionally, a study of war refugee children found that shared reading positively changed their emotional perceptions.
Reading to children on a regular basis has a more significant impact on their mental health than just helping them recognize and label emotions. Studies have found that children who enjoy reading score higher on mental health assessments and are more emotionally resilient. Researchers in Australia discovered that reading aloud to children who were neglected or maltreated tripled their emotional resilience. Additionally, a study of war refugee children found that shared reading positively changed their emotional perceptions.
There are various ways to utilize books to foster children's mental health. Books can be used as conversation starters to initiate discussions with children about their thoughts and emotions. This approach can be a subtle and gentle way to talk about challenging or sensitive issues. Reading books that aid children in recognizing and naming emotions, as well as illustrating ways to cope with unpleasant emotions, can be beneficial. Books can also function as both "windows" and "mirrors." Children can relate to characters in books who are experiencing similar emotions and circumstances, which can help them understand that they are not alone or ostracized. Books that depict children coping with other types of challenges help children develop empathy and compassion.
Additionally, reading books that address specific issues that children may be struggling with and offer coping strategies can be helpful. It's essential to continue reading to and with children, even after they can read on their own. A survey of 9 to 11-year-olds found that 60% were no longer read to at home, yet over a third of those children wanted read-aloud time with their caregivers.
In conclusion, nurturing your child's mental health is critical to their overall well-being and future success. Reading and discussing books with your child is a practical and enjoyable way to promote their emotional and cognitive development. Learn with Koala is an excellent platform to help you in this endeavor, with a team of outstanding tutors who are passionate about working with children and fostering their love of reading. Their tutors are well-equipped to help your child identify and process their emotions and improve their vocabulary and cognitive skills. With Learn with Koala, your child can enjoy reading books with a personal tutor who will assist them in developing the tools they need to navigate life's challenges confidently. Sign up today and see how Learn with Koala can make a positive difference in your child's mental health and love for reading. You can find and book those classes at this page.