New research shows that reading together can help children share their worries, as Book Trust gifts over 700,000 books to reception age children across England.
Did you know that half of children* don’t discuss their mental health and well being with their parents?
Make Time To Read with BookTrust – Giveaway
From even before the kids were able to focus on a book, I would read to them consistently. Our days were a routine of playing, feeding and reading. In my whole-hearted opinion, books are SO important to a child’s well being. Also with how they learn and communicate in the world.
New research from Book Trust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, finds that only just over half of children aged between 8-11 actually speak with their parents when they are feeling stressed, sad or worried. And a staggering 44% say that they either forget about the problem or don’t say anything at all.
I truly believe that reading with children forms a bond strong enough for children to be able to talk to their parents, but also gives them the tools to be able to communicate their problems too.
The research highlights the importance of reading for children’s’ mental health. This comes as the charity is ready to give out over 700,000 free copies of Rob Hodgson’s picture book ‘The Cave’. Every school starter will receive a copy of the book in the BookTrusts annual Time To Read campaign.
Research findings also include:
- Children aged 8-11 feel worried, sad or angry about friendships, school work and loneliness.
- Parents of children aged 4-11 see common signs of worried or anxious children as angry outbursts, crying more than usual, and sleeping problems.
- 34% of parents with children aged 4-11 worry about their child’s mental health at least once a week. 60% of children aged 8-11 admit to feeling sad, worried or stressed at least once a month.
- Only 38% of children aged 8-11, choose to read on their own to relax. And only 27% choose to read with a parent.
- A third of children 8-11 said their favorite thing about reading is when a parent or carer is present.
- But, 2 in 5 children 8-11 said they find it difficult to talk about their feelings or emotions. 90% of parents agree that reading is a useful tool to communicate with their child and to help them open up. Sadly 70% stop reading to their children by the time they are 7.
The research, backed by Psychologist Emma Kenny and leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be, shows how important it is to use reading to create opportunities to have a conversation with children about some of the challenges they may be facing. Children can discuss difficult situations and issues, away from the distractions of every day life.
Emma Kenny, This Morning’s resident psychologist says: Reading is a great activity to bond with your child and talk about their day. It also helps to create good routines, which make children feel safer and more confident. Add that to the way books can let children explore challenging themes and situations in a safe way, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for building resilience. It ensures that children are able to talk about the things that are worrying and upsetting them.
Tips to Make Time To Read with your children.
It’s never too early to start reading.
From the time children are born, the sound of your voice and the tone of the words help them with a good understanding of language.
Try and tie in reading with a bedtime routine. Bath, book and then bed is the perfect end to the day to have quality time with your children. Try and read together in a room with no distractions.
Look at the pictures.
It’s not always about the words. Discuss with your children how the characters look in the pictures. How they might be feeling, what they might be thinking. Let your child lead the conversation.
Personal and Social Issues
There’s a book to read about everything and anything. If you feel like something needs explaining, you can usually find a book about it. From earth issues to politics, sexuality to bullying. If you can’t find the words to say it yourself, find a book to help you explain it to your children.
Books in Our Lives
Books have played an integral part of our lives. When we go on our adventures, we don’t take technology in the car. The children all take a book (or 3!) and they are rotated between them.
Oliver won first place reading in his school last year and is currently reading the Works of Shakespeare. Finley was a free reader just after his 6th birthday and will be seen with an encyclopedia under his arm at any point of the day. Molly is quickly catching up! All three children have fantastic vocabulary and are so quick to describe and annotate. And correct anybody who may be wrong! We have a special bond that has been formed by books and by just taking them time to sit and listen to one another.
About Book Trust
BookTrust supports early language development and realise that children are healthier and happier, empathetic and creative, just by reading books.
They are the UK’s largest book charity and have transformed lives with 3.9 million children benefiting from their resources.
About Time To Read
The Time To Read campaign launched in September 2016 to encourage parents of primary aged children to keep reading. Even once the children themselves have learned to read. Every child at reception age will receive a copy of ‘The Cave’ at school from September. The book is delivered inside a special Time To Read pack with a message for parents to encourage shared reading.
Place2Be is the leading UK children’s’ mental health charity. They provide local in school support and training across England and Wales to improve the emotional well-being of pupils, families, teachers and staff.
Join In With Our Party!
Join in with the Twitter party on Thursday 19th September. Use the hashtag #TimeToRead and join in with Psychologist Emma Kenny with your thoughts on children’s mental health and how books can help. There will be great chat and book tokens to be won!
Make Time To Read with BookTrust – Giveaway
To help you Make Time To Read, the folks at BookTrust have a selection of books to be won, including Rob Hodgsons ‘The Cave’.
To enter, simply go through the options below. The more you do, the more entries go into the draw. Good Luck! **
*Research was conducted by Censuswide, with 3,000 parents of children aged between 4-11 and 1000 children between the ages of 8-11 via their parents. The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK residents. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
** Make Time to Read with BookTrust Giveaway – Giveaway books provided by BookTrust direct.