People whose parents encouraged them to read as kids often have these 8 character traits

Long, long ago, before the days of Baby Shark and other video-based babysitters, parents used to do something strange and wonderful.

They encouraged their children to read books.

They went so far as to bring their kids to libraries and bookstores and would even drive out of their way to buy books or swap them with friends.

And in a few isolated communities, you can still find the tradition carrying on to this very.

Well, maybe it’s not really all that rare after all. I actually have friends who get their kids books and encourage them to read stories online rather than just watching videos.

Does reading have any effect on kids and the adults they grow into?

I think it definitely does, though I may be biased as I was a voracious reader as a child. 

That’s what we’re going to explore here because people whose parents encouraged them to read as kids often have these eight character traits.

1) They’re practiced at patience

When you read a book, there’s an unwritten rule that you have to follow.

You can’t just jump to the end to see what happens. You have to read word by word, page by page until you make it through the book.

OK, you can always cheat and skip to the last page, but I doubt you’d be able to understand the ending without reading the story. It would lose all meaning.

So, unlike skipping ahead through a video or swiping on to the next one if this one’s boring, with a book, you’re looking at a slow but steady progression through a story.

Even if you feel impatient, the only thing you can do is read faster, which is something of a reward in itself because you gain a skill.

But patience is at least practiced by readers and stays with them into their adult lives.

2) They have incredible focus

If there’s one thing that readers are known for, it’s being able to sit still and focus on the activity in front of them.

If you ever watch a child reading something they’re really into, you’ll think they were carved from stone.

I remember being that way, too.

When I was about ten or eleven years old, I started to read some fantasy series. We’re talking really pithy stuff hundreds of pages long. I remember being completely enthralled by the fantastic worlds and characters that were swirling around my head.

“Huh? What?!” I was always shocked when my mother snapped me out of my reverie and told me she’d called me five times already.

Such was the power of my focus on the literature.

Now that I’m older, I still find that I’m able to sit and focus on various activities for a long time, like reading, writing, studying, etc. I have to admit, though, that I’ve noticed my ability to focus has declined since I got a tablet a couple of years ago!

3) They’re deeply creative

The act of reading books, especially books for children and young adults, is in itself both creative and collaborative.

The reader has to cooperate with the writer by accepting the writer’s premises and following their cues for action and characters.

They also have to create whatever the writer did not.

If there are any holes in the plot, details left out, or inconsistencies, the reader and creatively fill in the blanks. 

Because many stories for children are also weird, wild, and wonderful, they also teach kids to think in creative and even surprising ways. That’s what their examples do.

So I think it’s no surprise that people whose parents encouraged them to read as kids often have a lot of creativity.

It would be surprising if they didn’t!

4) They have potent imaginations

While the writer gives a lot of direction, the reader also shares a lot of the load when they’re reading a book.

They create impressions of the story in their own minds. They draw the characters, imagine the action, and see the places the writer writes about.

If there are any holes in the story, they learn to flesh them out themselves, even without really thinking about it. And some of the images and impressions they create last a lifetime.

I remember when the Lord of the Rings movies first came out. I knew my grandmother loved the books, so I asked her if she wanted to go see the movies with me.

She surprised me by refusing.

“I lived those books,” she told me. “I remember every detail of the characters and the landscapes in them. Those memories are precious to me. I don’t need to see someone else’s version.”

Such is the power of a young reader’s imagination.

5) They have insatiable curiosity

benefits of reading 2 People whose parents encouraged them to read as kids often have these 8 character traits

Your parents can try to get you to read, but if it’s not your bag, then there may be little they can do to convince you.

I know I had lots of friends who thought reading was boring and preferred to be outside playing. In a way, they were right.

But when the weather was freezing or rainy and dreary, reading would suddenly look like a really great option.

While the wide world outside was full of mysteries to uncover and things to experience, books also offered their own alternate universe.

The fact is that for thousands of years, humans have been writing down the wealth of their wisdom, their stories, thoughts, and questions. 

When children realize how much there is to learn and experience through the words of others, they can be pretty hard to stop.

It’s as if they’ve suddenly found a portal to another dimension, one that makes more questions than it answers. But answers are found, and this continues to encourage their curiosity.

6) They’re great at communication

When I worked as an ESL teacher, there was something that I noticed again and again.

The students with the best language skills were the ones who liked to read.

This makes perfect sense because when you read, you get nice examples of correct language use laid out in front of you. It’s even more user-friendly than listening because if you don’t understand something, you can just go back and read it again to try to get it.

It also makes sense that readers have better writing skills than people who don’t read a lot.

Those who don’t read try to write down the words they think of in much the same way as when they just think and say things. But written language is usually a lot different from spoken language.

It’s clearer and more formally follows grammatical rules. It also follows certain conventions and this is what you learn when you read.

You see the way other people phrase things and the way they organize their ideas into a series of sentences and paragraphs.

This helps you do the same.

If you read books by writers from many different places, you’ll also learn tons of different vocabulary and ways of saying things that are different from the people in your own neighborhood.

So you can gain a great deal of written and verbal communication skills just from reading. 

7) Empathy

When your parents encourage you to read as a child, they’re often inadvertently encouraging you to also learn empathy.

Think about a typical storybook that focuses on the life and challenges of a central character. They usually have some sort of quest to go on, a problem to solve, or a mystery to unravel.

The child has to learn to understand a lot of important things here.

First, they need to understand why the character is motivated to do what they do. Otherwise, the story won’t make any sense to them.

Then, they have to put themselves in the character’s shoes and follow them through the story. If they make mistakes, the reader learns to forgive them. When they do great things, the reader can feel happy along with them.

That’s empathy– understanding and relating to other people’s emotions!

While the people in books aren’t real, the empathy they take away certainly is.

8) Emotional stability

One last characteristic of people whose parents encouraged them to read a lot as kids is emotional stability.

This means being able to keep their emotions balanced and in check even in tough situations.

The multitude of situations that readers are exposed to give them some background experience. Should they ever find themselves in similar situations, they might be better prepared to handle things without getting upset.

They also read about emotions that they learn to relate to.

Writers have to put names or descriptions to feelings so their readers can understand what they’re talking about. This helps the readers recognize and relate better to their own emotions.

People whose parents encouraged them to read as kids often have these eight character traits.

The experience of early reading can definitely give them widespread benefits that can carry them through life.

In short, reading is great!

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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