Parenting is an exhausting job.
From the minute you wake up, or should I say, they wake you up, to the minute you go to bed, or should I say, the minute they get out of bed for the 15th million time, you are on the clock.
From sun up, until sun down, you’re clocked in as a parent.
Oh and from what I hear, that actually never ends, by the way…
But despite all of that, and all of that work, as you get older and your kids get older, there are going to be certain things that they remember about their childhood. Just like us as adults, our kids are going to look back and remember key moments or traditions that they were exposed to in their lives.
They’ll unfortunately remember that one time you accidently embarrassed them or that one time you were too hard on them for a mistake they made.
They are going to remember that one movie that first scared them when they were little and they are going to remember that time you took them to go do that one thing that they love.
This is because memory is selective, and as our kids get older they are only going to remember certain things about their past. And those specific memories, which ever ones they are, are going to stick with them and be a basis for how they live their lives.
That may be good, or it can be bad.
They may remember growing up and being rewarded for doing a good job and now that they are older and are starting a family, they are going to remember to reward their kids for doing a good job.
Or they may remember that you were always fighting with them and arguing with them. They may remember that you were demanding and unkind. They may remember that you were distant or always too busy…
The things that you do with your kids tend to be things they grow up and do for their kids. It’s something that can be passed down as tradition (creating traditions: The Easiest Way To Leave a Legacy), and one of the best things you can do, to set a tradition, is read to your kids before bed.
Reading to your kids has such an astounding impact on their lives, especially… I’m going to say this twice… especially in today’s world of technology.
In today’s world, reading sticks out like a sore thumb. In a world of screens where the imagery and sound is being provided for you, reading and using your imagination has incredible upside.
Not only does reading allow kids a different flavor of content to consume, it allows their own minds to think and consider what is happening in the story, in their terms. They picture the characters how they want to see them, which encourages their minds to grow on their own terms, in reflection of their own personality.
Reading to your children encourages them to be readers of their own. While many youtube videos can show you how to repair a washer, no one whose read a book will tell you that the big screen adaptation was better than the written word. No one. The book wins every time and it’s because the book is personal.
You should read to your children every night. You won’t be perfect, and you don’t have to be, but you should read to them every night. Read to them because it provides something unique in comparison to technology, read to them because it helps their minds grow, and read to them because it’s something they will remember.