1) Studies have shown that reading to your children, as painful as it might be when you are exhausted and would rather chug wine straight from the bottle to make it all go away, makes your children better readers. Knowing how to read is obviously important so why not get them started as soon as possible.
2) It’s a bonding experience. I’m pretty sure the last time my mother read to me I was thirteen. Her voices were the characters in all of my books. She was Cora the cat in “Gus and the Baby Ghost” and the voice of the lion in “The Tawny Scrawny Lion.” No one but my mother could read to me about Flip the colt who wanted to fly or about all of the animals in “Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm.” I think the only other person who read to me was my sister. I think it was just once and I’m sure she hated every second of it.
3) You expose your child to new worlds. A flying bed? A worm that hops around on one shoe and dons a hat with a feather? A cat that can drive a forklift? As a result of this exposure I thought that everything had feelings—even an abandoned shoe on a highway or a lone pencil on a sidewalk. To me they were sad and lonely objects who missed their owners and just wanted to go home. Retail therapy has since remedied this but I still have quite an active imagination. And I am extremely empathetic.
4)You expose your child to new words. How about tawny and scrawny?
5) You teach your children how to properly pronounce words. I know adults who still say Valentime’s Day or ambulampse. It is cute when you are two. Not so much when you are thirty–two.
So sit down and read a book to your child or children. Your exhausted voice just might turn into the voice of their favorite character.