Why I Used To Wake Up At 5 a.m. To Read To My Daughter
November 02, 2017
Many moons ago, when my wife got pregnant, I started wondering how I would be as a father. While I want to say I mostly thought about the heavy-duty stuff – what values would I instill in my child; what my parenting philosophy would be, and so on- what truly concerned me was what the hell would I do with a kid all day! Then one day it struck me, I could read to it! After all, it is the one thing I’ve always loved and been passionate about (hence The Curious Reader, but more on that here).
According to Dr. Mary Adams, Medical Director at Reach Out & Read, “reading a book to your newborn is a one-on-one activity that you can really turn into a special time with your baby … it exposes the baby to the sound of your voice, which is soothing for him”. I found this especially true, as till date I am the first person D turns to when she wants a book read, and she is the one person I cannot stop buying books for.
According to a study at the University of California, Santa Cruz, reading aloud to a new-born introduces him to an extensive vocabulary at an early age, and the earlier he acquires language the more likely he is to master it. Interestingly, through his study, Dominic Massaro stresses the importance of reading picture books and not just any books to infants. He goes on to emphasise that reading improves a child’s vocabulary more than just talking to him. My personal experience bears this out because D is constantly praised for vocabulary in school.
D is now over three. Our love for books and stories has evolved into creating our own worlds; making up fictional characters like a pair of rabbit friends called “Bitty” and “Rabby” and getting lost in our imaginative world with other friends like “Mr. Lion” (who needs some cheering up) and “Ms. Snail” (who is always looking for leaves to feed her kids). Reading has bridged the age gap between us; when we are lost in our books, we aren’t father and daughter, but just two explorers, setting off on our next literary adventure together.
As a young boy, Nirbhay had the annoying habit of waking up at 5 a.m. Since television was a big no-no, he had no choice but to read to entertain himself and that is how his love affair with books began. A true-blue Piscean, books paved the path to his fantasy worlds- worlds he’d often rather stay in. Nirbhay is the co-founder and publisher of The Curious Reader.
You can read his articles, here.